Under the care of the Discalced Carmelite Friars
Today on Mothers Day were are reminded of the intimate and maternal love God has for all human beings.Let us entrust ourselves to this love that knows no bounds.
A young man once approached a monk who had a reputation for holiness and he said to him: ` Do you believe in God?` `Yes I do,` the monk replied.
`On what evidence do you believe?` the young man persisted.
`I believe in God because I know him` was the reply. `I experience the presence of God within me every day`.
`But how is that possible?` the youth asked.
`When we love we experience God, and doubt vanishes like early mist before the sun.`
The young man thought about this for a moment and said: `How can I have this kind of certainty?`
`By act of love`, was the reply.` Try to love your neigbours;love them actively and unceasingly.As you try to love them more and more you will become more and more convinced of the existence of God`.( From Flor McCarthy SDB)
That was good advice indeed.
The intimacy of the relationship with the Lord described in today`s gospel here is a good example of the mysticism in St. John’s gospel.
How does Christ love us? The answer amazes us “As the Father has loved me, so 1 have loved you”. It is obviously almost impossible for us to imagine the intensity of the Divine love, the love of Father and Son within the Trinity, so it is also impossible for us to gauge the love of Christ for us that flows from this. Today on Mothers Day I am reminded that in fact the Lord has also said that he loves us as a mother loves her child: `Does a mother forget the infant at her breast..yet even if she should forget I will never forget you`.
Last Sunday I referred to the Carmelite Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity who meditated assiduously on these themes in the Last Discourse. The words of the gospel today occur in the middle of Ch.15 which introduced the allegory of the vine and the branches which we had last Sunday. This points to the intimacy of the life which is shared by Jesus and his disciples and its consequent fruitfulness.
Love or Agape is the central theme of the discourse. It has its source in the One Jesus refers to as Abba and it flows out from this source. Jesus learned to love by the experience of being loved by the father:
`As the father has loved me, so I have loved you, remain in my love`. Now in his turn Jesus continues this dynamic of love among his followers, his `friends`. He tells them that he has revealed to them everything he has learnt from his father. And in the present context, as I say, love is one of the primary things he has learned from the father – `just as I have kept my father`s commandments and remain in his love.` Again this Sunday I emphasise the word `remain`, `meno` in Greek. This is where we are to reside habitually, the place to which we gravitate, the place where we are meant to put down roots.
Tadgh Tierney ocd