Gospel John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples:
"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 might be in you
and your joy might 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."
Here in Door County we have many orchards, the majority of them are cherry orchards. Every summer we take our staff to the cherry orchard in early July to pick cherries, it's a pile of fun from cherry picking to cherry pit spitting, to cherry eating, to cherry pie making. There are many trees in the orchard, but not all produce fruit. The young trees don't produce any cherries until about the 7th or 8th year. Some of the mature trees also, can stop producing fruit due to bugs or poor soil conditions. They take time and proper care in order to produce fruit. There is a parallel here with our soul. A tree must be mature enough to produce fruit and it must be healthy enough to produce fruit. Our Lord is teaching us what fruit He wants our souls to produce: Love! Love is plentiful in a healthy soul (one who lives in God's laws out of love) Love is plentiful in a mature soul (one that embraces the Christian journey: Receiving His Love and then dying to self in order that Christ may live in him/her). Do you desire to bear fruit? He has appointed you and I for this purpose, the whole of our life is for a purpose - to grow in Love, God's Life in us. What is getting in the way? Let us ask ourselves, Where am I holding back in loving someone and whom in particular, be specific? (the evil one will try to keep you from being specific, he will keep you in generalities, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where the obstacle is.
Examination of Conscience Point: I will be faithful to the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit that call me to Love.
Prayer: Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy, act in me O Holy Spirit that my work too may be holy