Love One Another - What Does it Mean?

(May 9, 2020)

Bottom line: It's all about Jesus. His love requires humility, thoughtfulness and fidelity: "This I command you: love one another."

Happy Mother's Day! After the Communion Prayer we will have the blessing for our moms - and for one mom in particular. We will also have blessing for those with anniversary of matrimony during Mass.

In light of all this, Jesus has a good word: This I command you: love one another.

You and I can easily misinterpret Jesus' command. We live in a romantic age that emphasizes feelings and emotions. If someone has strong feelings, he say, "I'm in luv. Can't help myself. I've got to be authentic, go with my feelings." That's not the biblical perspective That's not what Jesus teaches. He says:

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.

For Jesus love is not a feeling. Love is a decision. I've been a priest almost 50 years and I've never heard someone say, "I love him because he's so emotional." No, what they say is, "I love him because he's so thoughtful." Love means to make thoughtful, daily decisions - even when your emotions pull you some other direction. The commandments guide us. Jesus of course knows we are weak - that we often fall short. That's why St. John says:

In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

If we are honest, we know we have many emotions that go against love. We are self-centered, vengeful and lustful. We are prone to self-pity. We fail. We fall short of Jesus' love. We sin.

True love actually starts when we recognize failures, then asking forgiveness, first from God, then from the person we have offended. We could spend a whole year talking about forgiveness, but I would like to bring it back to Mother's Day.

I was blessed to have a very good mom. But she was far from perfect. Today, however, we honor the one perfect mother - the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor her with the Silver Rose. With the Knights of Columbus' protection, the Silver Rose is making a journey from Canada to Mexico. We have prayer cards you can sign and place in the offertory. The Knight escorts will take your pledge to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For the conclusion of the General Intercessions we will say the Prayer for Life composed by St. John Paul.

It's all about Jesus. His love requires humility, thoughtfulness and fidelity: "This I command you: love one another."


Spanish Version

From Archives (Third Sunday of Easter, Year B):

2018: Evolutionary Leap
2015: Disciples and Disciple Makers Week 3: Try Prayer
2012: He Likes Matter
2009: The God of Our Fathers
2006: Is Life Worth Living?
2003: The Other
2000: Touch Me and See

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru