These are your own. Love them to the end.

by Fr. Jeff

Climbing the ambo to proclaim tonight’s Gospel, my eye settled on its antiphon:

He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. –John 13:1

I smiled when I saw it. That was the verse from Scripture I placed on my holy card as a commemoration of my ordination to the priesthood. I chose it because it summarizes the model I wish to follow.

Your Gospel only affirmed that movement of my heart:

I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. –John 13:15

At the altar of repose, I spent my time reflecting on these words. You loved your own in the world; You gave me a share in your priesthood, that I might follow your example.

There, from the back of the room, I looked around. Seeing everyone, Your words were clear:

These are your own. Love them to the end.