Daily Reading & Meditation

Monday (May 19): "If you love me, keep my word"

Scripture: John 14:21-26

21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all  that I have said to you.

Meditation: Do you know the love that surpasses all, that is stronger than death itself (Song of Songs 8:6)? In Jesus' last supper discourse he speaks of the love he has for his disciples and of his Father's love. He prepares his disciples for his imminent departure to return to his Father by exhorting them to prove their love for him through their loyalty and obedience to his word. He promises them the abiding instruction and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Saint Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love. Godís love for each of us is as real and tangible as the love of a mother for her child and the love of a lover who gives all for his beloved. God made us in love for love - to know him personally and to grow in the knowledge of his great love for us and to love him in return.

How can we know and be assured of the love of God? The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in the knowledge of God and his great love. The Spirit enables us to experience the love of God and to be assured of the Lordís abiding presence with us (see Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit also opens our ears to hear and understand the word of God. Do you listen attentively to God's word and believe it? Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame your heart with the love of God and his word.

"Lord Jesus, in love you created me and you drew me to yourself. May I never lose sight of you nor forget your steadfast love and faithfulness. And may I daily dwell upon your word and give you praise in the sanctuary of my heart, You who are my All."

Psalm 115:1-4,15-16

1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
2 Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?"
3 Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
16 The heavens are the LORD's heavens, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: God is pleased to dwell in us, by Augustine of Hippo, 430-543 A.D.

"God is not too grand to come, he is not too fussy or shy, he is not too proud - on the contrary he is pleased to come if you do not displease him. Listen to the promise he makes. Listen to him indeed promising with pleasure, not threatening in displeasure, "We shall come to him," he says, "I and the Father." To the one he had earlier called his friend, the one who obeys his precepts, the keeper of his commandment, the lover of God, the lover of his neighbor, he says, "We shall come to him and make our abode with him." (excerpt from Sermon 23,6)


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author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
 

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