‘Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
St Charles Lwanga and Companions, martyrs
‘What the world needs now is love sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, What the world needs now is love sweet love, No, not just for some but for everyone.’ The lyrics of this song highlight the sentiments expressed by David Brophy, conductor of his unique choir made up of family carers, based in Wexford.
David’s new challenge is to ‘highlight and celebrate’ the ‘invaluable and often overlooked role of carers in modern Irish life.’ David Brophy’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ demonstrate how family carers ‘selflessly care for their loved ones around the clock, by choice or more often, by necessity’. The challenge of the carer is increased during this restricted Covid-19 time.
St Paul’s words in the first letter to the people of Corinth (1 Cor 13: 4-13) describes the virtue of love. He says, ‘Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offences. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in the truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love will never end….Now we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.’
This familiar Scripture text is used at many liturgical celebrations, including the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage.
In the first letter of St John (1 Jn 4:8), we read that God is love. If we believe God is love then we can replace the word love in each phrase with God’s name. This helps to reflect on the attributes of God.
A disciple is invited to replace the word ‘Love’ in St Paul’s text (1 Cor 13:4-13), with his/her name. A good exercise for self-reflection!
The Gospel today (Mk 12:28-34) is proclaimed at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament.
Love is the theme and God is the first to love and be loved, primarily in the person of Jesus. Jesus witnessed to God’s love to the point of death. Jesus gave up his life to save us on the cross. He is our Saviour and Redeemer.
To ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart’ means loving God with all one’s heart and longing for God and God’s ways. This calls the disciple only to seek what God wants.
To love God with one’s mind involves trying to understand the beauty and extent of God’s unconditional and everlasting love. Praying with God’s word and reflecting on it, the Holy Spirit inspires the disciple to seek God’s love and witness to it in the way of Jesus.
To love God with one’s strength means understanding one’s weakness and depending only on God’s help to strengthen us to accomplish God’s will. To love God with all one’s soul is to love with one’s entire being.
To love one’s neighbour is the second commandment because it cannot be fulfilled without first loving God. God asks us to look at our neighbour as if they were our brothers and sisters.
SEEK GOD’S LOVE IN THE GROW IN LOVE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME
God is the author of life. God created the world and God saw all was good and indeed, very good. In the first Chapter of Genesis children read the story of Creation. God wants to share love always.
The children experience God’s love in their lives by reflecting on the love of their families, friends and teachers. God’s love is reflected in the beauty of the world about them. It is also reflected in their joy and in the consolation they receive in times of sadness.
Jesus taught the apostles about love and he witnessed to God’s love by sharing the Good News, by praying, healing those who were sick, freeing those who were imprisoned and forgiving those who sinned.
Children learn the new commandment that Jesus gave his friends at the Last Supper (Jn 13:34). The children are familiar with the text of the Great Commandment from the Gospel today. They read and recognise Jesus’ teaching in the New Commandment, the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule and the Beatitudes. Chatting with family, teacher and priest, children reflect on their giving and receiving love in the concrete experiences of their own lives in the light of Sacred Scripture.
As the children use their gifts, talents and abilities for their own growth and for their own well-being and that of others, they show gratitude to God. They learn to give glory, praise and thanks to God in prayer as they take a moment to reflect. They explore situations where they can promote and advocate justice.
Reading the lives of the saints and Christian heroes/heroines will help them to see how people witnessed to Jesus’ love by living lives of holiness. They read the story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux who invites them to practise her little way of love where she did extraordinary things with great love.
In preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, they are taught that love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
It is hoped that by reflecting on their own lives and reading Sacred Scripture that each child will grow in the desire to follow Jesus by relating with others in loving, peaceful, inclusive and non-discriminatory ways.
Resources for the theme of love are available on the VERITAS website. The Great Commandment is taught in Fourth Class/P6 with e-book and accompanying resources.
READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:
‘The Great Commandment’ (Lk 10:27); ‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34); ‘The Golden Rule’ (Lk 6:31), ‘The Beatitudes’ (Mt 5:1-12).
SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
‘Trust in the Lord(Psalm 37’, ‘Parable Song’, ‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘The Beatitudes’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.
PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
I believe in God,
The Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God
the Father almighty,
from there he will come to judge the
living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
PAIDIR CHUIG AN SPIORAD NAOMH
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom
guí mar a ghuigh Íosa.
Múin dom é.
‘Teach me your ways, O Lord: make known to me your paths.’(Psalm 24:4)
Let us serve the Lord in holiness, and he will deliver us from the hand of our enemies.’(Benedictus antiphon)
‘The Lord brought down the mighty from their seats and raised up the lowly.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
‘Saint Thérèse of Lisieux invites us to practise the little way of love, not to miss out on a kind word, a smile, or any small gesture which sows peace and friendship.’(Laudato Si’, no. 230)
St Charles Lwanga and companions, pray for us.
Sr Anne Neylon