- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

May 14, 2020

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

FEAST OF ST. MATTHIAS, APOSTLE
MAY 14, 2020
Acts 1: 15 – 17, 20 – 26; Ps.113; John 15: 9 – 17

It is the Last Supper and Jesus speaks from the depths of his heart; His hour was near. In the disciples’ hearing Jesus’ words are awesome, straightforward and certainly captivating: “As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My love.”

Notice all the verbs are in the present tense – this divine love is always now, always present, always embracing. We believe in this love but its depth, its breadth, its beauty is totally beyond our comprehension in this life. We can speak of this love as perfect, complete, unconditional, non-possessive yet each word, no matter what word we choose, can never do justice to the divine reality. Perhaps, silent, grateful wonder is as close as we will get in this life in our understanding.

It does happen – unexpectedly – at times, in prayer, in Holy Communion, in silence that the Lord in His mercy graces us with a very brief taste of this love – a touch, a sense, an awareness – more than a thought that comes and goes in an instant yet the reality of this Father-Son love dwells in us and remains in us.

Jesus says, “Remain in My love.” This is not merely a gracious wish, a prayer; it is a command, the verb is in the imperative. That Jesus commands this – and the Father through Him – reveals the passion of the heart of Christ that we not only open our hearts with desire but also, that we live our days under its power, its wisdom and peace.

“Remain in My love” – behind this command  is a passion that reveals our God’s desire to know Him personally, intimately. What return can you/I make? There is only one – to embrace His desire unconditionally. St. Benedict in the Rule puts it this way: “Prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ.”