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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 12.05.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 12.05.2023

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ACTS 15: 22 – 31

In those days: It seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole Church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: “The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, it has seemed good to us in assembly to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 57: 8 – 9, 10 – 12 (R.) 10a

R/. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples.
Or:
Alleluia.

My heart is ready, O God;
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, lyre and harp!
I will awake the dawn. R/.

I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations sing psalms to you,
for your mercy reaches to the heavens,
and your truth to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
may your glory shine on all the earth! R/.

ALLELUIA
John 15: 15b

Alleluia.
I have called you friends, says the Lord, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“This I command you, to love one another.”
JOHN 15: 12 – 17

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all 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 should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: True Friendship
May 12, 2023

“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:14–15)

To some, Jesus’ definition of friendship may, at first glance, seem odd. He says that we are His friends only when we do what He commands us to do. Imagine saying that to one of your best friends. Such a statement would most likely be met with a laugh and dismissal as foolishness. So is true friendship always based on obedience?

Obviously, the expectation that your friends obey you so as to win your friendship is not the basis of any authentic friendship. Jesus is the only one Who can base your friendship upon obedience to His holy will. Why? Because of the nature of what He commands you to do.

Jesus is pure Truth. What He wills is the perfection of love. Therefore, His statement that you are only His friend if you do what He commands you to do teaches that friendship is based on the truth. It’s based on love, goodness, kindness, selfless sacrifice and self-giving. And it is all of these truths that Jesus commands us to do. Therefore, Jesus is essentially telling us that His will alone provides the pathway to the friendship we desire to have with Him.

In regard to your friendship with others, each true friendship can only be based on that which God wills for friends. And, in that sense, you can “command” the will of God for your friendships. This means you are only willing to establish a friendship upon the truth. It means you are only willing to share a relationship based upon selfless, sacrificial, self-giving mercy, compassion, honesty and love.

Reflect, today, upon your understanding of friendship. Begin with your friendship with God, but then also ponder your friendship with others. Do you love our Lord in the way that He commands? And as you ponder your friendship with others, examine whether or not each friendship also conforms to obedience to the will of God. If you can love God and others in conformity with the dictates of true love, then your friendships will produce an eternity of deep fulfillment.

PRAYER:
My divine Lord, You call me to a friendship with You based only on the dictates of pure and holy love. I thank You for this command of love and accept this invitation. Help me, Lord, to continually deepen my friendship with You in accord with the truths of love and help me to base all my friendships only on the commands of this holy love. Jesus, I trust in You.

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