Daily Reflection
May 14th, 1999
Daniel Patrick OíReilly
Acts 1:5-17, 20-26
John 15:9-17
Todayís scriptures are all over the place, but the central theme always seems to come back to Christís command found in John 15, ďlove each other as I have loved youĒ.  This seems like a simple command.  Yet I doubt I can love anyone as much as Christ does.  In fact I have a hard enough time loving my wife, kids or even myself at times.  In fact I almost gave the one finger salute to a guy who cut me off in traffic this morning.  In fact, what does that mean, ďlove each otherĒ?  Iím no wealthy philanthropist who can help the poor or the needy.  Hmmmm.  Maybe this isnít such a simple command.

In Acts 1, Peter is looking for someone to replace Judas and become one of the twelve disciples.  Iím familiar with this passage because Justus is an old family name and the middle name of son number six.  Matthias and Justus are presented as disciple candidates.  There is much discussion, fervent prayer and then they roll the dice.  Matthias is welcomed.  Justus is left as the disciple wannabe.  Iíve often wondered what he did then.  Was he bitter?  Did he leave the faith?  Iíd be willing to bet that Justus simply found another way to serve.  That he found another way to obey Christís command to ďlove each other as I have loved youĒ.  There is no question that Satan is alive and well on planet earth.  Sometimes the evil in the world today can be overwhelming.   Ethnic cleansing, high school killings, drugs, drive-bys, newborns found in trash cans.  Itís more than my simple mind can comprehend.  My tendency is to withdraw into that feeling that I canít make a difference so why try.  I mean, Iím just one little person in this big, bad world.  Yet Christ is gently prodding us to love each other.  If Christ loves me and calls to me as a unique and beloved child of God and a member of his body, maybe Iím not so little.  I donít have to have a Ph.D. in psychology.  I can smile and I can listen to someone talk.  I donít have to be the author of a self-help book.  I can send a card to someone who is sad.  I donít have to solve world hunger.  I can help at or donate to a homeless shelter.  I donít have to be a physician to heal.  I can offer a kind and sympathetic word.  The opportunities for the mission and service that Christ calls us to are as numerous as the people in need.  In my church we just had ďUndie SundayĒ.  A day where we collect new underwear for the homeless.  It sounds kind of strange and almost a little sacrilegious.  And yet I know how much I like clean, fresh underwear (not trying to reveal my weirder side) and Iím willing to bet others do, too.  It was a very simple and yet meaningful thing to do.  Itís just a matter of taking that step and obeying Christís command.  ďLove each other as I have loved youĒ.         

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