Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 285


Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."


Some people might complain the gospel is unrealistic, but a little reflection mixed with common sense proves otherwise. In today’s gospel Jesus states, “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.”

But how many times have you heard people say they love, or “believe in,” Jesus though they do virtually nothing to demonstrate their faith and love? if it doesn’t make a real difference it’s not real.

Modern thought is founded upon a basic principle of nonsense. The philosopher Rene Descartes attempted to found all human knowledge on a foundation more solid than faith. He wondered of what he could be absolutely certain. What other people say might not be true. What he sees or feels might be hallucination. What he has always believed might be mistaken.

Applying this “doubt” to all knowledge he wondered what do I really know beyond doubt. He discovered the principle, “I think, therefore I am.” There can be no doubt that I exist because I am thinking. This is known as the cogito, a Latin word meaning “I think.”

So all knowledge in the modern world is founded on what “I” know, or think or believe. It’s my opinion. There are no authorities who can overrule my opinion. I have an existence apart from anyone else; I'm not even sure they exist! If I love anyone I may be loving someone who exists only in my mind, and that's okay, because it feels so good!
This conceit is the foundation of romance, and one particularly religious conceit is, “I love the Lord; and I know I love the Lord because I say I do. No one can deny me that!”

The gospel replies, “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” Reality has an unpleasant habit of encroaching on one’s fantasies and exposing them.

Love without action is a sentiment. It buys pretty flowers for the loved one but makes no sacrifice. 

Jesus has given us the first commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” When he had poured out everything in his love of God, when the last drop of his blood and water had gushed over the soldier's spear, then we knew he loved the Father. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.