1st Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
… “Peter said, “Brothers, it was necessary that the
Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit had
spoken through David about the one who would lead the
crowd coming to arrest Jesus. He was one of our number and
had been called to share our common ministry. In the book
of Psalms it is written: Let his house become deserted and
may no one live in it. But it is also written: May another take
his office. Therefore we must choose someone from among
those who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus
moved about with us, beginning with John’s baptism until
the day when Jesus was taken away from us. One of these
has to become, with us, a witness to his resurrection.” Then
they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known
as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed: “You know, Lord, what
is in the hearts of all. Show us, therefore, which of the two
you have chosen to replace Judas in this apostolic ministry.”
Then they drew lots between the two and the choice fell on
Matthias who was added to the eleven apostles.
Gospel: John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.
“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
“This is my command, that you love one another.”
In a great classing called On Loving God, St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: “You wish to hear from me why and how god ought to be loved. I answer: the cause of loving God is God. The way to love God is without measure… For two reasons I say that God is to be loved for God’s sake. No one can be more justly loved, or with greater benefit. Indeed, when it is asked why god ought to be loved, the question has two possible meanings. We may wonder which is the real question: whether god is to be loved because of deserving it or because it is for our good to do so. I give the same answer to both: there seems to me no good reason to love God which does not lie precisely in God.”
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