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The good news for the day, May 18, 2017

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter (288)

Jesus says to His friends: “As the Father has loved me, that is how I love you, too. Stay in my love. If you are following my directions, you will be staying in my love—just as I have followed my Father’s directions and stay in his love. “I have told you this so that my bliss might be in you—and your bliss might be complete.” (John 18)

When you and I were adolescent—we wanted to be loved. As you matured, you came to realize that real love is mutual—or sad. You find someone who loves you back, and this mutual treasure becomes a lifetime of bliss—complex, of course, as all love is—in and out, rain and shine, sickness and health—but eventually rewarding.

Once you accept the profound truth that God does love you—cares, and acts in ways to help you, cherish you, make you feel loved—then you deepen; your life changes. Your belief opens up about the “directives”—the so-called “commandments” from God—to care for one another, to appreciate nature, to respect others—avoiding violence, jealousy, envy, adultery, and the like—but instead encouraging others’ spirit, forgiving, healing—and enriching as much as they can.

But at the core of all this is mutual love: “love one another” Jesus goes on to say. Underlying that love is the bliss once you enjoy the life God has given you, accepting it in all its mystery. That acceptance produces bliss—a sense of peace that welcomes everyone as brothers and sisters, that rejoices at the hostility of cultural evil, that acknowledges the struggles in everyone’s heart—including your own.

Bliss—peace—is yours. Asked one time by a chaplain whether he was upset by the death of a sister who dead unreconciled with him, a hospital patient answered that he felt at peace, a deep peace that made him willing to accept everything God sends. The real love between you and God creates peace.

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