Having celebrated the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus at Easter time 4 weeks ago, today’s rather short gospel reading is like having to rewind a bit and recall the night it all started. We find Jesus at table with his beloved disciples at the last Supper, those who were his closest companions, and passing on the last message: “Love one another, just as I have loved you.”
It’s so powerful to have this insight into the heart of Jesus! Three years of ministry – of healing people, of preaching and teaching, of performing miracles, of changing people’s life… at the core of all that he did, Jesus LOVED. Now, knowing that he was about to leave them, Jesus didn’t ask for a monument to be built as a memorial of him or a song or book to be written about him (though people did anyway) or some other way to ‘immortalise’ his presence so that people remember him. Rather, the one thing he asked of his friends is to love each other just as he loved them. The gospel ends with a very clear message: “By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
The greatest witness we can give to the world of being a follower of Jesus – more than the words we preach or how many hours we spend on our knees in the church – is by loving one another. It is the one message that we need to carry with us at all times, but perhaps even more so this week: let us love one another, just as Jesus loves us!
On another note, here are some updates from my community:
- Fr. Rodrigo Carrizo, President of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, is here with us at the parish for the weekend. He will also visit our other UK communities (Southampton and Isle of Wight) in the coming two weeks. Do say ‘hi’ to him and give him a warm welcome to this lovely parish community!
- In communion with all the voting recently, there was a meeting with all the Verbum Dei missionaries in the North European area last week, where our own ‘local election’ took place. We now have a new area responsible, Anne Healy, who is an Irish missionary currently living in Germany. Look out for a visit from her sometime in the future!
- Last but not least, I have been a parish sister here for almost 6 years now and it is also time for a change for me. In dialogue with my general superior, I have been given a new assignment to the Isle of Wight from July onwards. I am deeply grateful to God for these six years – and thank you all for every precious shared moments!
Have a blessed week! Sr. Devy, FMVD