LECTIO DIVINA: VI Sunday of Easter, Cycle B
Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR
A. INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
WE INVOKE THE HOLY SPIRIT USING THE WORDS OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God; put in us your flame; enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128, 4). Amen.
WITH THE HEART WELL DISPOSED, WITH SERENITY, READ SLOWLY THE FOLLOWING WORDS, SAVORING THEM AND ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE TOUCHED BY THEM.
As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you s 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 may 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 friend. 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.
LET US MEDITATE NOW WITH THE COMMENTARY OF ST. AUGUSTINE ON THESE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL AC- CORDING TO ST. JOHN.
“This I command you: that you love one another,” and thus we ought to understand that this is our fruit as regards to what he affirms: I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain. Precisely because he added:
“So that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” If we love one another then he will give it, evidently, since he has given it to us, he who has chosen us though we had no fruit – that we had not chosen him- and he has appointed us to bear fruit, i.e., to love one another; the fruit that without him we cannot have, like the
branches that can do nothing without the vine. The Love is, therefore, our fruit, that the Apostle defines as born of a pure heart and good conscience and genuine faith. With this we love one another, with this we love God. Certainly, we could not love one another with authentic love if we would not love God. Consequently, each one loves his neighbor as himself if he loves God, because if he does not love God, he does not love himself. Certainly, the whole Law and the Prophets are based on these two precepts: these are our fruit.
Thus, upon giving us a command regarding the fruit, he says: This I command you, that you love one another. Therefore, even the Apostle Paul, as he wanted to recommend the fruit of the Spirit as against the works of the flesh, he placed this at the head, he affirms: The fruit of the Spirit is Charity. Then as born from the head and attached to it he intertwined the others, which is joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Thus, if one does not love what he enjoys, how can he enjoy well? Who can have authentic peace, if not with one whom he loves authentically? What patient person remains perseveringly in the good, if he does not boil over with love? Who is kind if he does not love the one he helps? Who is good if loving he is not made such? Whose faith is healthy if not one, who by virtue of this faith, acts through love? Who is profitably gentle whom love does not rule? Who controls himself against one who dishonors him, if he does not love one who honors him? Therefore, as if this were the only precept that had to be commanded, the Good Master rightly and frequently recommends charity, without which the other goods would not be profitable, and which cannot be possessed without the other goods with which a man is made good (Io. eu. tr. 87, 1).
WITH THE TEXT, LET US NOW PRAY FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEART. I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING PHRASES AND QUESTIONS THAT CAN AWAKEN IN YOU DIALOGUE WITH GOD, AND AT THE SAME TIME CAN GIVE RISE TO AFFECTIONS AND SENTIMENTS IN YOUR DIALOGUE WITH GOD. DO NOT MOVE TO THE NEXT PHRASE OR QUESTION IF YOU CAN STILL CONTINUE DIALOGUING WITH GOD IN ONE OF THEM. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF EXHAUSTING THE LIST, BUT OF HELPING YOU TO PRAY WITH SOME POINTS THAT BETTER FIT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
a. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (Jn. 15:11).
•How do you live the Christian joy in your life?
•What does it mean and how do you live the Christian joy in full?
b. “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you” (Jn. 15:12).
•How do you live the commandment of love in your life?
•What are your thoughts on we must love “as Christ has loved us,” i.e., without limits or barriers?
I PROPOSE TO YOU SOME POINTS FOR AFFECTIVE INTERIOR CONTEMPLATION. ONCE AGAIN, YOU NEED NOT FOLLOW ALL OF IT, RATHER YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT FITS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
a. Contemplate Christ who shows you infinite love with which he has loved you from all eternity? Relish the contemplation of the immeasurable love of Christ. Secondly, contemplate how Christ asks you to share this love with your brothers and that you learn to love them as he loves you. Contemplate and allow yourself to be inundated by his love.
b. Contemplate how Christ puts his love into your heart like a seed and how he asks you that it must bear fruit. Contemplate how you receive the love of Christ, how this love fills your entire being. Relish this moment of contemplation allowing that this love inundate you, and you can repeat: “Help me, Lord, to give you fruits of love.” Contemplate and adore.
THINK OF EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WITH GOD, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT. THE FOLLOWING POINTS CAN HELP YOU AS GUIDE TO SHARE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LECTIO DIVINA ON THIS TEXT.
• What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
• How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
• What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
• What has been my dominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?
G. FINAL PRAYER OF ST. AUGUSTINE
Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with a pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en, Ps. 150:8).