Sixth Sunday of Easter
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SUNDAY, May 9th Jn. 15: 9-17 “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
- How do we love one another? By first letting Christ love us! Letting Christ fulfill all that is lacking in us! In Him alone, we are complete. Only then, can we receive others, just as they are, just as Christ receives them.
- However, this friendship with Christ must be maintained or it will die out. Christ warns us of this: “I hold this against you, you have lost your first love.” (Rev. 2:4)
- How do we keep this love alive? 1) Our daily holy hour, encountering Jesus in the Scriptures, 2) Frequent Confession, the Sacrament of His Mercy, 3) Frequent reception of Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion, 4) Visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and 5) Conversing with Jesus and Mary on a daily basis as good friends are wont to do!
Part 1: Excerpt from This Tremendous Lover…by Dom Eugene Boylan, O. Cist R.
Part 2: TALKING WITH MY BEST FRIENDS JESUS AND MARY by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
PART 1: Excerpt from This Tremendous Lover…by Dom Eugene Boylan, O. Cist R. (+1964)
What then have we to do? We must realize that Jesus is our tremendous lover, that He is our all and that He has done all our works for us. We must believe in Jesus and not in ourselves; we must hope in Jesus and not in ourselves; we must love Jesus and not ourselves. As Saint Augustine told us, there is one man who reaches to the extremities of the universe and unto the end of time.
We have to enter into this one man – this one Christ – by faith, hope, and charity. We have to find our all in Him. He is our full complement and our perfect supplement. No matter how weak we are, He is our strength; no matter how empty we are, He is our fullness; no matter how sinful we are, He is our holiness. All we have to do is to accept God’s plan – to say as Christ said coming into the world: “A body thou hast fitted to me; behold I come to do Thy will, O God.”
We have to accept the self, and the surroundings, and the story that the Lord’s providence arranges for us. In humility we must accept our self just as we are; in charity, we must accept and love our neighbor just as he is; in abandonment, we must accept the Lord’s will just as things happen to us, and just as He would have us act. Faithful compliance with His will and humble acceptance of His arrangements will bring us to full union with Christ.
For the rest, let us gladly glory in our infirmities that the power of Christ may dwell in us. In our weakness and in our love we shall thus become one with Him, and there shall be one Christ loving Himself.
PART 2: TALKING WITH MY BEST FRIENDS JESUS AND MARY by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
FAITHFUL FRIENDS ALWAYS. Jesus and Mary are your best friends, always, in all places and in all times. You can talk to them and confide in them always! Jesus and Mary are always ready and willing to listen to you and talk to you as friends do. At the Last Supper, Jesus said to the Apostles (as well as to you and me): “I call you FRIENDS.” His friendship has not changed in 2000 years and it will never change. Jesus and Mary have a great longing, a great desire, in this precise moment to enter into a conversation of Friendship with you.
ENTER INTO THIS CONVERSATION OF FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS AND MARY NOW!
A STARTING HELP: PICTURE/PAINTNG, STATUE OF JESUS AND OF MARY.
Now place yourself in the Presence of Jesus and Mary. Imagine that they are looking at you with great tenderness, kindness, and love. Lift your eyes (as well as your heart) to the images of Jesus and Mary. Now open up your heart and talk to Jesus and Mary. Tell them everything that is on your mind, everything that is in your heart. They are the best of listeners.
SOME HELPS TO ENTER INTO CONVERSATION WITH JESUS AND MARY. As a means to help you, imagine that Jesus and Mary with great love for you are asking you some very simple questions. Respond to these questions in your own words. Your words can be simple, uncomplicated, humble, and sincere. Here we go with our loving conversation with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother and your Mother!
1. WHO ARE YOU? Why not start with the basics. Jesus asks “who are you”? That is a good question. Who are you in the eyes of the world? Are you a man or woman, younger or older, single or married, father or mother, brother or sister? Do you work, go to school, stay at home with the kids, or possibly you’re retired? Now, who are you in your own eyes? What do you think of yourself? Are you happy with who you are? If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be? Now, who are you in the eyes of Jesus and Mary? Do you think about the fact that Jesus suffered and died on the cross and Mary suffered beneath the cross – all for love of you? Do you really know how precious you are in their eyes? They are listening very attentively to your answer, to your words, even to the movements of your heart. You can speak to Jesus and Mary as long as you want. They are in no hurry. Right now you are the most important person in the world to them.
2. WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND NOW? In all times and places something is crossing our mind. Right now, why not express to Jesus and Mary the thoughts that are crossing or running through your mind. Talk to them about these thoughts. Do these thoughts bring you joy or sadness, peace or anxiety? Talk sincerely about your thought world. Perhaps things that you cannot talk to anyone else about. Jesus and Mary do not mean for you to carry your burdens alone.
3. ARE YOU FEARFUL? We all go through moments of fear and about many things. Perhaps over the past few days there has been something in your life that has caused you to enter into a state of fear. This is an excellent topic of conversation between you and Jesus and Mary. Often the Apostles had fears; all people have fears in their lives. So do you and so do I. Bring these fears to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Jesus, who calmed the fears of the Apostles in the storm, can calm your fears too!
4. WHAT MIGHT BE SOME FEARS? Fears can come in many shapes and forms, colors and shades. Never forget that both Jesus and Mary love you always and are always ready to listen to you and help you. Here are a few that might be your fears right now. Your future? Maybe you are fearful about your future. We are living in challenging times. Maybe your future is uncertain and this causes fear. Talk to Jesus and Mary about this. Ask them to help you place your future in their loving and caring hands. Or it could be that you or one of your family members has a serious health problem and that makes you fearful. Ask the Divine Physician for healing in mind and body. Always trusting in His Divine Providence to know what is best for each person. Remembering that when He gives a cross, He promises to help us carry it! Maybe your fears are for spiritual well-being – yours or someone else’s. In this case what is needed is a Soul Doctor and a good Confession. If it is for yourself, don’t put it off! The enemy wants to steal your soul – and that is how he does it! He paralyzes us with fear! Ask a friend to go with you, so you won’t back out! If your fear is for someone else who is putting off Confession and Conversion – Prayer and Penance are your weapons. Jesus says some demons are only driven out by prayer and penance!
5. OTHER FEARS? Family tension and problems! Your fears might be in your home, in your own family. Maybe there is tension, turmoil, anger and bitterness among some family members, maybe even with you, and this is a constant cause of fear and anxiety in your mind and heart. Open up your heart to Jesus and Mary and talk to them about these family tensions and fears. Talk to Jesus and Mary about your family members. Most likely there is at least one family member who is in need of prayers. Beg Jesus and Mary to help you pray for them; this can bring peace to your heart! Jesus and Mary are always attentive to your prayers and willing to help you carry the cross.
6. WOUNDS OF THE PAST/WOUNDS IN THE PRESENT. Because of the Original Sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, we all live in a world that is deeply wounded. And that means that we too are wounded, and most likely we have wounded others. Most likely, even now, you carry a wound in your heart. Past or present, being abused in any number of ways leaves huge, gaping wounds. Now is the time to bring these wounds to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that was wounded by the lance that pierced His Heart causing blood and water to gush forth, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary who suffered in her heart all that Jesus suffered in His Body as she stood beneath the cross. Being physically beaten, emotionally abused, rejected, perhaps abandoned—all of these situations leave wounds that can be very deep.
7. JESUS THE WOUNDED HEALER. Jesus is the wounded-healer. In prayer we can bring these many and possibly huge wounds to Jesus. The Bible says: “By His wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53:5) Do not be afraid to open up and talk to Jesus about your wounds because by His wounds we are healed. Call to mind the many sick, suffering, and wounded people who came to Jesus while He walked the earth. Jesus’ Heart was moved to pity and compassion, and He healed them if they trusted in Him. Imagine that you are one of those wounded and sick persons in the time of Jesus: the blind, the deaf, the mute, the leper, the paralytic! Like them, go to Jesus now and ask for healing! Go to the Immaculate Heart of Mary also and ask her to heal you. Mary is known as Refuge of sinners, Health of the sick, and Mother of mercy and consolation. Turn to Mary as your loving Mother and open your wounded heart and talk to her—let her console you! One more step is necessary. Beg Jesus and Mary for the grace to pray for those who wounded you—pray for their conversion and eternal salvation. Something as simple and three Hail Marys for them every day. Praying for them will bring peace to your soul—and the captive you set free will be you! And the mercy you show them, will be showered upon you by your loving and Merciful Savior!
8. YOUR TEMPTATIONS. Now, here is another topic to talk with Jesus and Mary about, your temptations! Do not be ashamed in your conversation with Jesus and Mary to talk about your temptations. Everybody in the world is subject to temptations now and until we die. The devil never goes on vacation. A temptation is not a sin unless we give in to it. Bring to Jesus and Mary the temptations you may be experiencing. Here might be a few. Temptations to discouragement—bring this to the Heart of Jesus. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) Temptations to impurity—bring this to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Temptations to laziness—it is not always about avoiding work we have to do; sometimes it is avoiding the work we don’t like to do! Talk to Mary about this, who went in haste to help her elderly cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with St. John the Baptist. Temptations to anger and impatience—turn to Jesus who carried the cross patiently and beg for His help. Temptations to lie—turn to Jesus who said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Jn. 14:6) Temptations to disobey—to do our will instead of God’s will! Run to Jesus who was obedient to death, even death on the cross! Bringing your temptations to Jesus and Mary are great ways to overcome the devil!
9. EVEN YOUR SINS! Now this is a very important topic of conversation: your sins! Jesus did not come for the perfect; He came to save sinners. The name JESUS means God saves! The worst thing we can do is to fail to TRUST in Jesus and in His love and mercy. Therefore, bring even your failures, your sins, to the most Merciful Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Tell Jesus that you love Him and you are sorry for these sins. Tell Him that you want to change. Beg Jesus for the grace and the strength to change. Then tell Jesus and Mary of your desire to go to confession. The prophet Isaiah encourages us with these words: “Though your sins be like scarlet, I will make them as white as the snow.” (Is. 1:18) Say these words often to Jesus, words that give great consolation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary: JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!!! Also, none of us know the day or the hour we will die. Therefore, never go to bed without doing an examination of conscience and making a perfect act of contrition—that is to say, a contrition of love, contrition for hurting the One you love and who loves you more than anyone else in the world can ever love you—with the firm intention to go to confession as soon as possible. If you were to die in that state, your sins would be forgiven.
10. YOUR PLANS, YOUR GOALS, YOUR DREAMS. At every stage of life, we should have plans, goals, and even dreams. You should have long term goals, short term goals, and dreams to accomplish. Jesus and Mary are very interested in these. Open up your heart and talk to Jesus and Mary about these noble aspiration and goals. As we get older, the aspirations of this life should begin to give way to aspirations and longing for our eternal life! Jesus and Mary are very interested in your goals and dreams, in your future here and in eternity! Open up and talk to them about your future!
11. THANKSGIVING: AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. Jesus and Mary rejoice when we tell them these two words: THANK YOU! Therefore, try to get in the habit of thanking Jesus and Mary for the many gifts they have given to you. In sum, what do we have that we have not received from God? Nothing! Except our sins—those we freely chose. Stop and look up to Jesus and Mary, and pour out your heart in gratitude!
12. IMITATE THE ONE GRATEFUL LEPER. On one occasion ten lepers came to Jesus and He healed all ten, but only one came back to give Jesus thanks! May you be that one grateful leper! Thank Jesus for your life—thank you, Jesus. Give thanks for your health—Lord Jesus, thanks! Thanks for your family—Lord, I lift my hands in thanks! For freedom—Jesus, once again thanks! For your Catholic faith—Lord, from the depths of my heart, thanks!!!
13. BECOME THE BEGGAR BEFORE JESUS. Beggars would sometimes approach Jesus and He would often grant what they requested. Now it is your turn to become the beggar. Jesus said: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. (Mt. 7:7) Any need that is in your heart, open up and become a beggar before Jesus. He loves to help humble and trusting beggars!
14. BEG FOR OTHERS. Do not limit your prayers to yourself. Rather, go outside yourself and beg for others’ intentions, for others’ needs. Beg for your family members certainly. Then beg for world peace; beg for starving children; beg for the sick and the dying; beg for the homeless and the orphans. Beg also for the suffering souls in Purgatory to be released to Heaven! Beg for the conversion of poor sinners, of dying sinners. Many graces descend upon the world due to the prayers of beggars!
15. LOVE JESUS AND MARY. The most important sentiment that can flow from our hearts is that of love. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Never forget how much Jesus and Mary love you. And you should tell them how much you love them, too. Love is the bond of perfection. Saint John of the Cross says: “In the twilight of our lives, we will be judged on love.” Now, in your own words, tell Jesus and Mary how much you really do love them. Beg them for the grace to love them more and more each day. Beg Jesus and Mary for the grace to love them now, tomorrow, and forever in heaven!