May 19

FOCUS:    God’s commandments for his chosen people help them remain in his love.


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Acts 15: 17-21

Psalm 96

John 15: 9-11


Jesus is giving instruction to the apostles at the Last Supper in today’s gospel.  The verses just prior to this excerpt include Jesus instructing that He is the vine, the Father is the vinedresser and the apostles to whom He was speaking are the branches.  As those branches become fruitful, the vines become even stronger – we are the vines of which Jesus is referring.


There is a promise Jesus is making – stay close to Him and we will see incredible things happen.  He does not say we will be without challenges or that we will be rich and famous.  Rather, He promises our joy will be complete – that completion will be fully achieved as we spend eternity with Him.  In the meantime, it means our joy will be most prominently experienced in this world as we live our lives according to His commandments – love God with all we have and love others as He loves us, that is, want good things for others always.


The apostles in our first reading confirm for us that God’s love is for Gentiles, for the Jews, and really for all people.  Wanting good things for others is desiring for and taking action to sharing the experience of Jesus with others.  Sometimes that means we have to engage in tough conversations to open the eyes of another but more often it means we act with compassion and a smile. 


So who can you surprise today, letting them see a smile they did not expect, or taking time to really focus your attention on them?  Who can you pray with today?  Try smiling at someone today and tell them “You know, God thinks you are pretty special and so do I.”  No long discussions needed, just a smile and a quick comment.


Go smile at God today!