November 14, 2020

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

I am not writing [you] a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.

The gospel readings these days, which focus on the last judgment and the end times, are often difficult to find an inspiring message. I extracted the above statement from the first reading instead. It gives us a basic principle that should govern our lives, no matter what is happening around us. There is never a reason why we can ever feel excused from loving one another as Jesus himself has loved us.

Granted that this letter is aimed at correcting false notions about the historical Jesus, John links his concerns about doctrinal purity with a reminder of the basic commandment that Jesus has given us—a commandment that should govern our entire lives. Perhaps it is natural that any focus on judgment makes us run through the commandments to see where we have fallen short. We could, instead, use this passage to simplify our examen and focus on the one commandment that Jesus left us. It contains all the others.

It is significant for us that Jesus gave us this commandment at the Last Supper. We should be reminded of this every time we celebrate the Eucharist. There we not only have the example of the depth of Jesus’ love for us but the strength we need to live our commitment to him. It is fitting that today is also the memorial of Mother Cabrini. She was the first U.S. citizen to be canonized as a saint, a tribute to her love for others, and having spent nearly 30 years opening schools, hospitals, orphanages, and missions across our country.

How can I show my love for Jesus today?

Let Us Pray:

O Jesus, as we approach the ending of the church year, help me to renew my focus on loving others as you yourself have loved me.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.