Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In today’s Gospel Jesus’ new commandment, and His vision for the new Church that was to come, could not have been simpler, or more challenging! He asks his disciples to love. Jesus calls them, and us, to love as God loves, with a love that is rooted in humility and vulnerability. This radical love will take Jesus to the Cross, and through to His Resurrection. In His final words to His disciples Jesus could have chosen to remind them of the comforting fact that they are loved, and that this love will not be changed by the events they are about to witness and undergo. Instead, He gives them the instruction to share His love, first with one another, and then with the whole world.
Jesus also speaks in this passage about how His Church should be formed, with love at its foundation. “This is how they will know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) Love is the banner Jesus asks His disciples to wave to grow His Church and spread the Good News of salvation.
All through the Easter season we hear from the Acts of the Apostles, the origin story of our Church. We are participating in a work that has been ongoing for 2200 years. We now belong to a universal Church that spans the globe, with various structures at all levels of Church hierarchy. For the first disciples, none of this existed. Particularly in the three hundred years between when Jesus walked on earth and the codified national acceptance of Christianity by Constantine at the Council of Nicea, the Church grew by word of mouth. Paul, Barnabas, and others went into cities telling people about Jesus. People were moved by what they said and become followers of Jesus and kept telling the story. It is truly remarkable, and for me, an inspiration, to reflect on the small beginnings of our Church. It is a testimony to what is possible when, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, love is at the center of what we do.
I wish you and your loved ones continued Easter blessings of good health, new hope, and great love,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.