…love one another as I have loved you.
Begin with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.
Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:
- Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
- Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
Soar– Eric Nordhoff
Read the Gospel John 15:9-17
Read the Gospel aloud, even if reading it on your own.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment:
love one another, as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me:
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you
is to love one another.’
Reflect on the Gospel
Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use some quietening music again if you wish.
Some questions you might like to ponder (Taken from Reflection by Fr Kieran O’Mahony):
- A commandment of love is something of a contradiction in terms. Love is a free choice. That is what gives the thrill to the experience of being loved. Recall times when you received gestures of love from another—a spontaneous embrace from a husband or wife; a wave from a friend; words of comfort and affirmation—not because the other person felt obliged to reach out to you but because they wanted to let you know that you were loved.
What effect did that have on you?
Did it bring you joy?
Perhaps you have had a glimpse of the truth of what Jesus said, that it is in loving that our joy is complete.
- Often love and friendship make demands on us. Parents give freely of their time and energy to the care of their children but sometimes it requires a lot of effort. Also in responding to the needs of friends or spouses we can be challenged to ‘lay down’ our own ‘lives’ at least for a time. Can you recall when a time when putting yourself out for others bore fruit for them and for you?
- “I chose you”. Have you had the experience of being ‘chosen’ by someone? What was it like for you to be chosen? What is it like for you to consider yourself as one chosen by Jesus?
- Jesus called the disciples ‘’friends’ not ‘servants’ because he had told them everything about himself.
When have you allowed yourself to be known and loved? When has friendship blossomed for you because you made the time available and took the effort to understand another?
- The presence of God is revealed to us in the love we experience from others. Sometimes it can be clearly seen in the love between husband and wife, or parent and child when it doesn’t have to be proved but is the nature of the relationship in which they live. Love can also be apparent in difficult situations like when someone is ill or dying or in any kind of trouble. Abiding in the love of another is one of the greatest joys of life.
When have you had that experience?
Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Gospel of the Passion read in our Mass this day in written or on video.
The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. We invite you to listen to or join with Richard Rohr in praying this prayer (see cac.org)
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.