As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today we celebrate the feast of the apostle St. Matthias. To be named one of the twelve apostles, one need have accompanied Jesus throughout his earthly ministry and give witness to his resurrection. Such witness is essential to our faith. We are “one apostolic church” because our faith is founded upon the witness of countless believers who have proclaimed and shared their experiences of the Risen Christ throughout the centuries.
This witnessing is the fruit Jesus speaks of when he tells his friends, “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
Jesus chooses us. Jesus chooses me. I need to let that sink in. He chooses me to witness to his friendship and love for me and for all whom I meet. How is he inviting me today to bear apostolic witness to him?
—Paula Sapienza is a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado.
Jesus, you chose me.
You chose me to be your friend.
You share with me what the Father shares with you,
love beyond all telling.
Jesus, you gave your life for me.
Such love is beyond my understanding.
And yet I must share with my sisters and my brothers
the joy that such love—your love—gives to me.
Enkindle within me, Jesus,
that apostolic flame
that burns within the hearts
of your apostles and saints.
Grant that like them,
I may shine forth the love and the joy
that comes only from you,
my brother, and
—Paula SapienzaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!