Gospel of John 15:9-17
No one has greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
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 may 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.”
Some steps for prayer with this Gospel passage –
- Mary Ward knew about having free access to God in her prayer. This is integral to the virtue of freedom and the gift of friendship.
- In my prayer, I ask God of Love – for interior freedom as Mary Ward lived.
- I ponder Jesus’ free access to God in John’s Gospel. I ponder his deep desire to share his freedom and joy in friendship. I listen to him speaking to his friends in this Gospel.
- I notice any feelings that might arise.
- I listen to my deep desire knowing that God has planted this in my own heart for Jesus says to his friends. “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you…”
Mary Ward was surrounded by her friends as she was dying. Her parting words were a gift of her deepest desire to all of us who follow in her footsteps.
“Let your vocation be constantly, efficaciously and affectionately in all…” Mary Ward (Mary Poyntz writing to Barbara Bapthorpe on Mary Ward’s death, Hewarth, February 1645.)
- I allow my spirit to rest in this moment of deep friendship. Mary with her friends… Jesus with his friends…
- I notice any feelings that arise and let them rest in Love…
- As I reflect on my prayer experience. I ponder what I asked for at the beginning of this contemplation – for interior freedom.
- I end my prayer with gratitude and pray for love, peace and friendship for our world.