Misa de Gracia of San Juan Martinez Parish
Bantayan, Mangaldan, Pangasinan
Homily by Fr. Pierre Marie Tiberghein
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag,
14 May 2020
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.” (Jn 15,9)
Dear brothers and sisters, in these words and you know these words in the Gospel of John, are like the last words of Jesus. In these words, we can see the feel, this love of Jesus for his disciples. The really beautiful, the very full of tenderness. He wants to give them everything, to communicate all that he has. He only chose them one by one, each one of them, he knows them so well, so well. He knows the family, he knows the village, he knows also their deepest desires, the thirst of the heart, because of which they are walking after him, the thirst of because of which they followed him and the disciples know it. They know that they are known by Jesus, that they are known but loved also, known and loved.
For the first time for them, someone knows them so perfectly and loved them in the same time. With tenderness that penetrates, go deep into them, to the deepest part of their soul. That is why even if often they don’t understand everything, they keep on following him, they keep on going, they don’t understand but still something in them has been touched by him, by his gaze on them, a gaze full of mercy, once again full of tenderness. They know now that without him, their life has no meaning, life without him will have no taste, to be empty. So therefore, they have to follow, they have to walk after him.
At the point where we are in the Gospel, Jesus knows that his end is getting near, he knows that he will love his disciples, he will love his own till the end that means till the Cross. And he wants them to be happy so he give them his supreme commandment which is in fact his life itself to love, “love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13, 34) but we noticed, he doesn’t say “love each other, love one another” but he says “love one another as I have loved you” because now you know, he speaks to his disciples, you know what it means, this love, because you have an experience of what is this love, of my love. So now you’ll also live -love of this same love now and becomes like a conclusion “you are my friends. I have given you everything.”
As a friend to another friend who will share everything, you will not keep anything from him, we know that, we can think about our own experience if we have a good friend we said everything what is more important, we feel confident to trust, to share it.
However, we wonder “How is it possible to be friend with the Lord? How is it possible?” because to be friends means we cannot equal but how is it possible with the Lord? how can we think to be equal to him or at least on his level? You know in the sense it’s not possible but we know one thing and on this our whole life is based and constructed he has chosen us; he has called us. Mysteriously, he calls us by name. And he knows us, he’s not that he doesn’t knows us, he knows that he ignores some part of us, he knows us, he knows us very well. Yes, better than we know ourselves and we are known and loved by the Lord and therefore just like the disciples, we know one thing that we have to follow him wherever the road leads us and we can walk without fear because we know that he prepares the way and with him like Matthias, like Peter, like John and James we know that we can bear fruit and the fruit that will last and our Father who is in heaven will rejoice in this.
Let us turn now to Our Lady, we us ask her “make us true disciples of your Son.” Surely, you who are the Mother of Jesus, you were so close to each one of his disciples, you told them to follow him faithfully, to listen to his words. Mary, our Mother, educate us also, help us to follow Jesus whatever the cost, whatever the difficulties. We trust in you because you are our Mother. Amen.