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  My Witness

Vol. 11, No. 3, July, 2006

Love One Another Part 1
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid In this teaching, we will accept the word of God, the Scriptures into our hearts and minds, letting them be light to us. The Scriptures are the inspired word of God which has the power to accomplish what it says, for us. Yes, for us, right here. Right now!

The Scripture we are reflecting upon is Acts 10; Psalm 98; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17. Read these passages slowly, prayerfully.

As you read the Scripture, in your heart ask the Holy Spirit to explain to you the message that the Lord has for you personally. Do not doubt that the Lord Jesus will do this for you, because that is why he came, so that you can get to know and to love Jesus. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:25f). Ask the Holy Spirit what you desire from him...something like this: "O Holy Spirit, Jesus said that you would teach me all things and I believe him. Teach me what the love of God means! Teach me what love means! Teach me what I have to do to abide in Jesus' love! Teach me what I must do in order to be Jesus' friend! Thank you, O Holy Spirit."

What do you think? Should we pick and choose who we are going to be nice to, care for, who we are going to love? Or we could ask the question another way -- is every one worthy of our love? Is it possible to have a relationship of love and kindness with every person?

Cornelius, a Roman centurion, not a follower of Jesus, but a very good, devout man who feared God, gave alms, and prayed constantly, received a visit from an angel during his time of prayer. The angel instructed him:

"Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter;.."

Cornelius wasted no time -- he sent for Peter and asked him to tell him all that he had been commanded by the Lord. Peter opened his mouth and spoke:

"You know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean...Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."

Peter says that God has shown him that no man should be called common or unclean. He is referring to the wondrous vision he had that is recorded in Acts 10:9-16;

"he (Peter) fell into a trance and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."

Peter was horrified, "No, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." In reply Peter hears the voice a second time:

"What God has cleansed, you must not call common."

Three times Peter experienced the vision of the sheet being lowered. Being inwardly perplexed as to the meaning of this vision, he was seeking under-standing and his heart was open to meet with Cornelius, a Gentile, and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to him and to his household!

"You (Cornelius) know the word which he (God) sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil for God was with him....To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

In his first letter, John explains:

"Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love" (1 John 4:7f).

Closing prayer: "Thank you, Spirit of love, Thank you for teaching me what the love of God means! Thank you for teaching me what I have to do to abide in Jesus' love! Thank you for teaching me what love the Lord has for us, for all his people, for every person he has made! Thank you, O Holy Spirit." Now the prayer to Mary:

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen!"

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