Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way"

These words strike me to the heart as the final preparations are under way for the pilgrimage. These are the opening paragraphs of John Paul II's "Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way."

"I set off in search of the source of my vocation. It is beating there . . . in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. I thank God that during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 I was able to pray—precisely there—in the Upper Room (Mark 14:15), where the Last Supper took place. I transport myself in thought to that memorable Thursday, when Christ, having loved his own to the end (cf. John 13:1), instituted the Apostles as priests of the New Covenant. I see Him bending down before each of us as successors of the Apostles, to wash our feet. I hear Him, as if He were speaking to me—to us—these words:"Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'Teacher' and 'Master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you an example to follow, so that as I have done for you, you also should do" (John 13:12-16).

Together with Peter, Andrew, James, and John . . . let us continue to listen: As the Father has loved me, so I have loved 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 complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:9-14).

Is not the mysterium caritatis of our vocation contained in these sayings? These words of Christ... are at the root of every vocation in the Church. [...] Here we find what is most important, most valuable, and most sacred: the love of the Father and the love of Christ for us, His and our joy, and also our friendship and fidelity, which express themselves in the fulfillment of the commandments. These words also contain the goal and the meaning of our vocation: Go and bear fruit that will last" (John 15:16).
As we begin the trip, these words strike me: "Rise, let us be on our way!"

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