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Acts 10:25-26.34-35.44-48; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love 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 no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. John 15:9-17

John takes us to the heart of the Christian discipleship: Love for others as God has loved us. He interprets the meaning of Jesus’ death on the cross as his loving sacrifice of himself for us in obedience to God’s loving will and purpose, not only for himself but for the whole world.

There can be no greater love for one’s friends than to follow in Jesus’ footsteps even to the point of death. The emphasis on friendship has considerable significance. The Christian way of life exists only in effective human relationships. Every human institution – the church included – works best when relationships are firmly based on mutual respect and humane values, at the root of which is love. As we move toward a global civilization no other value system will prove sufficient. The selfless relationships of agapé love have been proven in the crucible of the divine-human experiment which is Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus is saying throughout this passage. This is the fruit that Jesus prophesied his friendship with these few disciples would yield. It began with his love for them and their love for each other. We who believe are called to make a similar witness in our time and place.

By J. Sherman

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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