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Scripture reflections: 'If you love me you will keep my Commandments'

 |  14 May 2017

Lectionary readings

First reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66

Second reading: 1 Peter 3:15-18

Gospel: John 14:15-21

Link to readings.

Introduction

I go to the place where I like to pray. I settle down, perhaps put on some quiet, reflective music. I try and empty my mind of all ideas, of all images.

As I begin this time of prayer, I try to become silent and still, aware of God’s presence, ready to receive all that God desires to offer. I read the prayer slowly, reflectively, letting the words touch my heart and lead me to deeper appreciation of all God’s gifts, especially the gift of Jesus. I am reminded of how Jesus became human, suffered and died but now ‘lives forever’ and I let the

joy of his victory over death, the joy of the resurrection, fill my whole being. I pray with Christians everywhere that we may so live our lives as followers of the risen Christ that we share ‘the ultimate joy’ of rising with him.

In my prayer this week I may want to spend time asking the

Lord to help me keep his commandments and show me how I can love him even more so that, like Philip, I can speak to others about him more confidently. I also ask for the help of his Spirit to sustain me in everything I do.

Second reading

1 Peter 3:15-18

This epistle is written to Christians who were being, at the very least, ostracized and insulted by their fellow Gentiles for their belief in Jesus.

The writer urges them to have inner freedom: to be courteous and exemplary, while holding to their convictions.

Christ’s example is to be a source of strength for them. Becoming a Christian makes one see the role of suffering in the light of Christ’s passion.

With the help of God’s Spirit, I become still and ask to be open to whatever God wants to say to me in this time of prayer.

I read the text slowly letting it speak to me whenever and wherever I am drawn. I remain on that word or phrase and resist the urge to move on. I wait before my God whose love holds me in being.

If I feel drawn to do so, I bring the sorrows, disappointments, and sufferings, as well as the joys of my life to him. I speak to him from my heart; he knows, he understands; he loves me with an enormous love.

As always, I end my prayer slowly – giving thanks.

Gospel

John 14:15-21

A time of transition: Jesus prepares his friends for his departing and the Spirit’s coming.They and the early Church begin to understand this new (unseen) presence of Jesus.

How are they to respond? I may like to reflect on the ‘comings’ and ‘goings’ of my life.

‘I will not leave you orphans…’ I may ask to feel the depth of Jesus’ love for his disciples – for me.

The word ‘Advocate’ can mean one who comforts – and even more than this: one who gives power and courage to help me cope calmly with life.

I may feel moved to pray for an even deeper understanding of the effects of the Spirit of Jesus in me: to be a person of deeper faith; to make wise decisions; to be open-minded and accepting of others, and so on.

‘Anyone who loves me will be loved by my Father’ How am I moved to end my prayer?

Reflections from www.pathwaystogod.org from the Jesuits in Britain.  

 

 

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