16 – 17 May, 2020

‘Christ says to us, what he said to his Apostles: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” This really presents a strong personal challenge – there are so many questions that go with this direction given to us by Christ himself. Like who is my neighbour? like do I lovingly serve those who are the social outcasts in our Society? Like what makes me better than anyone else – that makes him or her unworthy of my love?

Jesus Says: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments!’ It’s as clear as it can be, we can actually measure the depth of love we have for Christ, by the keeping of his commandments. Jesus is not talking about keeping a specific set of commandments but about us answering his call as his disciple to live his way of life. Christian discipleship is involved, I will go as far to say, we cannot truly call ourselves disciples of Jesus if we do not listen to his words and make an honest effort to live by them.

As we would do anything for the husband we love, or, the wife we love or, our Mother and Father that we love or, our siblings that we love, so also will we do anything for Jesus because he loves us.
The greatest need we have for ourselves, is unconditional love. Yet we find it hard to believe that this is how God loves us. Mistakenly, some think that God will love us, only, if we are good. But in reality, it is that God loves us, not because we are good, but as Archbishop-elect Patrick often reminded us, ‘God is good all the time ‘ Our very existence is a sign of God’s love. God’s unconditional love for us is the Good News. Our response is to try to return that love.

Jesus knew that the Father loved him. He responded by loving the Father. He showed his love for the Father through his obedience, even as it cost him his life – as Easter has shown us.
There are some who proclaim their love for Jesus using beautiful words, but who deny him through their deeds or by their way of life. Real love is shown to us by Jesus’ love for the Father, real love is shown in deeds. Think of the many who by their good deeds, their actions of care and compassion, their timely phone-calls, especially, throughout this difficult time of the corona-virus lock-down. And soon, and more to the point, those who will put their hand up to help the hundreds of thousands who are now without a job, and when their Govt assistance finishes who will from those among us, who will be generous and willing to assist, support and help families and individuals through their fears, and support them in their needs?

It is not easy to live as a disciple of Jesus in the modern world, in fact it never has been an easy thing. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit, so that when we are weak, we may pray to the Spirit. The Spirit comforts us, enlightens and strengthen us, in times of weakness.

The Apostles knew Jesus loved them; we know Jesus loves us too. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. Love is our connection to God and to each other.
‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Pray for the strength and generosity to step up for soon if not already, there will be many calling on our prayers, our help and our Love.
God Love you – God is good all the time!

Love and prayers
Dean Peter