Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; John 15:9-17
The Vine and the Branches
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from SVD Bible Diary
2014 I once heard a popular preacher speak about his wife. He said that as soon as he gets out of bed he says, “I love you to her.” Then before he leaves home for work he says “I love you” again to her. When he reaches the office, he will call her to say “I love you.” After lunch he will call her again to say “I love you.” Finally, before leaving the office he will say to her once more his “I love you.” And when he gets home, the wife will meet and ask, “Do you still love me?” He said women need constant assurance of love.
Well, everyone needs that same assurance. There are no exceptions to this rule, much less the children. We all need that assurance to boost our self-worth, a worth that is not measured by our own accomplishments but is built up by the one who generously loves us. It is an assurance that nurtures and gives life.
The gospel today is just that. Jesus repeatedly says, “I love you.” Then he says: “Go! Love one another!” We receive love to give love. A poster says it: “Love is the only thing that grows when you give it away.” (Fr Vic Rayco SVD, Bible Diary 2014).
2018 Today’s feast and its readings remind us of our basic catechism: Man’s purpose is to know Jesus, to love Jesus, to serve Jesus, and be happy with Jesus!
To know Jesus – Peter lays down the requirement for an apostle: he should have walked with Jesus and a witness of the resurrection. Personal knowledge is important. Matthias, the apostle/saint of the day, had been “in the company” of Jesus “from the baptism of Jesus until he was taken up.”
To love Jesus – It is Matthias’ knowledge of Jesus that consequently made him not only to admire Jesus, but also to love Him.
To serve Jesus – Matthias’ love for Jesus overflowed to serving Him when he accepted his election to serve as an Apostle and to witness to the resurrection even at the cost of his own life. He died a martyr’s death in the service of his Beloved.
The Office of the Apostle was the privileged of Matthias and the other members of the circle. But the faith transmitted to us by God’s grace through the Apostles allows us to know and love Jesus. We can deepen our knowledge of Jesus by reading His Word. We can deepen our love for Him through prayers and the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist. All this should move us to serve Jesus and his kingdom. Jesus tells us to remain in His love if we keep his commandments, specifically his commandment of love. What greater joy can we have than knowing that Jesus loves us his friends! Happiness in the next life is already anticipated here! (Fr. Pablo Garay, Jr SVD, Bible Diary 2018)
See Today’s Readings: Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
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