12 May 2012

13th May 2012 - 6th Sunday of Easter (Year B)

On this weeks programme, our regular guest Michael Keating returns to give us a reflection for the month of May and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as saints of the week, EWTN, review of the Irish Catholic and local notices.


This weeks podcast is available HERE.

May: the month of Mary
 
"The Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, prays for us continually, and helps those we entrust to her care"
by Elizabeth Wang, T-01513-OL, © Radiant Light 2006, www.radiantlight.org.uk"

Michael Keating leads us in a reflection on Mary for the month of May. Micheal focuses his reflection on the John 19:25-27 where Jesus is dying on the cross and gives his mother to us and us to his mother.


"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home."

In the month of May we especially ask have we followed the example of John and given her space in our homes? But of course the question is why should we give this honour to Mary? It is not because she comes with a new teaching or stands in equality to God, rather she tells us "Do what he tells you"; she constantly points beyond herself to her Son. But how can we do what Jesus tells us if we don't make time and effort to listen and discern what Jesus is saying to us. Again and again, any of the approved apparitions of Mary, her message has been to point back to her Son and call us again to listen to him and turn back to him.



Gospel - John 15: 9-17

John's writings this week really bring across the fact that his focus is always on Jesus' message of love. Both in the gospel but also in the second reading which is taken from the first letter of St John where John reminds us that God is Love (Deus caritas est). But what is this love that we speak of? Have we ever thought about it? It is a term which is bandied about so much in music, literature and poetry but do we ever think what it means?

Jesus focus on love is in sharing the love that is between his Father and Himself which is expressed as the Holy Spirit and which is shared with us. It is a mutuality of love; which we are invited into if we make the space for it. It is not something we have to earn, it is always there. Jesus part-takes of the love of the Father and we part-take of that love as well. Fr Barron over at Word on Fire makes the point that we are often mistaken in thinking that we have to love God in order for God to love us. That's not the case. God doesn't need our love; his love for us is unconditional. But in order to get more out of God's love, we have to give it away. The more we give, the more we have - "a delightful stream of grace" that spreads joy among us.

Jesus calls us to "Remain in my love" and we do this by following his commandment. But his only commandment is to love! St Therese of Lisieux during the last few years of her life when reflecting on her own particular vocation realised that she was called to "be love at the heart of the church" but of course it is not just a call of saints! It is a call for us all! Christ is at the heart of the church and we called to unite ourselves with Christ. The ultimate call of christian community is to love, being human we tend to focus on roles or authority and power; we ignore what Christ actually commands us to do. It is one of the only commandments of Jesus in  the whole gospel. And the commandment is that we love each other as Christ has loved us.

Where will the response to the call to love take us? In trying to respond to that call we can be frozen in fear because it pulls us out of our comfort zone and challenges us! How will you respond to Jesus this week and his call to love?

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Pope Benedict XVI has written an encyclical called God is love (Deus Caritas Est) which is a recommend read this week to our readers/listeners.


Saints of the Week

Psalter - Week 2 (6th Week of Easter)

May 14th - St Matthias (Apostle)
May 15th - St Carthage
May 16th - St Brendan the Navigator and St Simon Stock (Carmelite Saint)
May 17th - St Paschal Babylon (Patron of Eucharistic Congresses)
May 18th - St John I (Pope)
May 19th - St Peter Celestine
May 20th - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (World Communications Day)

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