St. John Neumann
Once upon a time but not a long time ago, a short man in a black coat was walking towards his home, the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul located in the City of Brotherly Love. The man was John Neumann. He was returning from a mission of mercy an love. He had just taken the Blessed Sacrament to a sick person. Before reaching the steps leading to his residence, he collapsed and died on the steps of a Philadelphia row house. He was and continues to be a model for us.
Blogger: When did we first receive this message about loving one another?
St. John: Well, as far back as Cain and Abel we saw what we should not do. The murder of Abel buy his brother shattered the notion we need to show love to each other.
Blogger: What brought Cain to kill Abel, St. John?
St. John: Because Cain was a man of evil doings. He could not endure Abel's righteousness. No different in your times, is it?
Blogger: No, it is not. But what should we gather from this senseless killing of a brother by a brother?
St. John: This is a reminder to you event in your times that your good moral and ethical lives do create jealousy and/or anger. I want to remind you that not loving is remain in death or darkness.
Blogger: Wow! You surely take this loving one another quite seriously.
St. John: Not just me but Yahweh spokle about love and respect of one another through the words of the prophets and Jesus spoke about this challenge on behalf of his Father. Think of those who sacrificed their lives because they tried to make the commandment of love a reality in their life times.
Blogger: Why is this love commandment so important?
St. John: Because Jesus taught us the importance of love not just in his words. He laid down his life because he loved us so much. So, is there any reason we who have been given new life and redemption should not love our brothers and sisters?
Blogger: Can you suggest one way people of our times can show their true love for others.
St. John: Sure, let me do that. If there is anyone who has been gifted with earthly means, there should be no walking away from a sister or brother who is in need.
Blogger: Wow! There you go again. You like to put burdens on us, don't you?
St. John: Well, throughout his life, Jesus told everyone that love cannot work just in words and speech. It has to be put to the test in actions, in deeds and in truth.
Blogger: Well, St. John, you have taught me a few insights so easily overlooked in our busy world. There are really many people just in my community who are in need in a variety of ways. I know that if I take some time each day reading one or both readings used in the daily celebration of the Eucharist, I will come to a deeper realization of the extraordinary value you personally saw and practiced in this love commandment. Perhaps you can help me by interceding for me with Jesus, the Father or the Holy Spirit for the graces I need to make certain I do not overlook the opportunities to demonstrate my love to others. I have the example of Jesus for sure. But there is a man whose life we recall today who can be a model for all of us in how we practice our love for one another. I am sure you have encountered him in heaven!
A light-hearted reflection for a rather serious way of living one's life.
Fine for a Saturday morning.