Love One Another...

"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
This I command you, that you love one another."
John 15: 9-17

Today's second reading is one of my favorite scripture passages of all time. We are given the commandment to love one another, even if it means we must lay down our lives for our friend. The first thing that comes to my mind of course is the sacrificial love of Jesus on the cross. He layed down his life for me. He gave His all to save my soul, to repair the ravages of my sins. There is NO GREATER LOVE THAN THIS.

The second image that comes to my mind is the one of Mary, Our Blessed Mother reaching for her Son while He was carrying the cross. She is there always present, always by His side quietly supporting and loving Him through every trial and tribulation. We as mothers are called to do the same. We are called to lay down our lives for our husbands and children. We must pray for them, walk with them through valleys and be a support as they climb yet another mountain in their life. A mother's love is to be constant, remembering all the while that LOVE = SACRIFICE.

Where does the strength to do this come from? By abiding in God's love. The Websters definition of abide is to wait for, await, to endure without yielding, withstand, to bear patiently, tolerate, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place. This is everything a mother is called to do in life for/with her spouse and children. If we abide in God's love than we will never stray. He will give us the wisdom, strength , fortitude and perseverance we need to accomplish our daily vocation and be joyful in the journey.

Finally, I imagine loving my extended family and community. Christ tells us that HE chose us, not the other way around. HE chose us to go out in the world and spread the message of the gospel. To love each soul as if they were the crucified Christ. Sometimes this is easy. But many times it can be really difficult, even within our own families. Who is it that you struggle to love, unconditionally? Offer a rosary for that person, pray one for the conversion of your own heart. Remember that God works through all things, always to His glory and the for the good of us all.

I came away from Mass this morning having recommitted myself to love unconditionally those who God has given me to care for.  I must remember to do this each and every day with whatever the task is at hand. To seek joy and contentment wherever He takes me for He loves me. He chose me for this purpose, now I must choose to walk with Him each day. For with Him, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

So love someone today that's hard to love. Put a smile on God's face by doing so. You might be surprised that by the end of the day, there's a smile on yours as well.