the new commandment

Jesus washing Peter’s feet by Sieger Koder / Jim Forest Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
 
Jesus, you gave us the new command to love each other 
    just as you loved your disciples.
We are eager to imitate you in loving our brothers and sisters, but like Peter,
    our efforts are often more words and good intentions 
        than action and sacrifice..
We want to offer ourselves fully in friendship
    but when the relationship becomes costly we disengage.
We want to reach out to those different from ourselves
    but tend to stay within our safe routines.
And when relationships lead to hurt or betrayal 
    we withdraw to protect ourselves
    and fail to keep your commandment.
You know this about us.
You know that we are weak and made of dust.
 
Oh, pour out an extra measure of faith upon us!
Strengthen us with the supernatural ability to love just as you loved.
Enable us to present ourselves as living sacrifices in our relationships.
 
But more than that, bless our flawed, timid expressions
    and communicate them through your Holy Spirit,
    so that those who we begin to love, 
    know that, in fact, they are loved 
    completely
    by you
just as you loved your disciples, and us, unto the end.
 
EM
______________________
 
 
It was just before the Passover Festival. 
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. 
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
 
A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
 

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May I be the friend You want me to be

image / pixabay
 
May I be an enemy to no one 
    and the friend of what abides eternally.
May I never quarrel with those nearest me,
    and be reconciled quickly if I should.
May I never plot evil against others,
    and if anyone plots evil against me,
  may I escape unharmed 
    and without the need to hurt anyone else.
May I love, seek, and attain only what is good.
May I desire happiness for all
    and harbor envy for none.
May I never find joy 
    in the misfortune of one who has wronged me.
May I never wait for the rebuke of others,
    but always rebuke myself and make reparation.
May I gain no victory 
    that harms me or my opponent.
May I reconcile friends 
    who are mad at each other.
May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary help
    to my friends and to all who are in need.
May I never fail a friend in trouble.
May I be able to soften the pain of the grief stricken
    and give them comforting words.
May I respect myself.
May I always maintain control of my emotions.
May I habituate myself to be gentle,
     and never angry with others because of circumstances.
May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done,
    but know good people and follow in their footsteps.
 
Eusebius of Caesarea, c. 260- c.340, Christian historian and bishop
 
_________________________
 
 
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

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draw me into your friendship

image / Lawrence OP / flickr
Lord Jesus, from the start
You invite ordinary people to come to where you live.
When they come, you welcome them
and call them to labor and rejoice with you.
You are the most beautiful among men,
and I hardly believe you want me for your friend.
You are powerful, Lord.
Draw me more and more into your friendship
and lead me along the way you took with friends.
 
Joseph Tetlow, SJ, retreat director and author
 
_________________________
 
 
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

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