1989 April 23 -5th Sun Easter (Bulletin Letters)
Jn 13, 31 – 33a. 34 – 35
“THIS IS HOW THEY WILL COME TO KNOW YOU FOR MY DISCIPLES: YOUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER” JOHN 13/35.
This week’s Gospel begins the Farewell Discourse of Jesus at the last supper. Jesus had just completed washing the feet of the disciples. Judas had taken his leave to set in motion the betrayal that would bring about Jesus’ trial and execution. Jesus begins by telling his disciples that the time has come for him to be glorified. Jesus was not to be with them much longer.
One of the purposes of a Farewell Discourse is to enable the followers, those left behind, to remain as a group with their own identity. Jesus now reveals that identity as he offers them his new commandment, “Love one an-other such as my love has been for you” (John 13/34). This is how people will come to know the followers of Christ by the measure of their love for one another. The true identity of a believer is not found in any title, Christian or otherwise, nor in any set of beliefs and dogmas. The true identity of a believer in Jesus Christ is found in their love for one another.
A simple review of Church history would show how badly we have followed this identifying directive. Yet, this same history would reveal a litany of Saints who in every age and generation fully embraced the measure of Jesus’ love. Jesus’ directive has not changed. We are still called to love one another as he did. Today there seems to be more professing Christians than acting Christians. The gospel challenges each one of us to ask ourselves, “What must I do to measure up to my true identity as a fol1ower of Christ?” “Where have I failed in my love for others? ”
89 04 23 Pastorial A VISITOR FROM ENGLAND: I have had a special guest this week, Judith Dawes from England. I met Judith at the Catholic Worker in Des Moines. She has been in the States five months visiting different Catholic Workers. She plans to go back to England and start a Catholic Worker. Five months on the road visiting different Catholic Workers can be trying. I asked her if she wanted to come to Harrison County for a visit. She accepted my invitation thinking it would be a good chance to meet some ‘normal’ Americans. I’m not sure how ‘normal’ we are but if you see this small woman with a big smi1e talking differently, welcome her and wish her well.
89 04 23 Pastorial : AN ODE TO YOUR PASTOR’S BEARD:
WHAT PRICE YOUR PASTOR’S BEARD?
FOR CHRIST HIMSELF GREW ONE,
IT WAS THE ANCIENT WAY.
BUT IF THE BEARD MUST GO
THEN $200 PLUS YOU MUST PAY.