Following on from yesterday’s Gospel reading: ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full’.

The fourth chapter of the Rule of our Holy Father St Benedict is called ‘The Tools of Good Works’, and the chapter begins: ‘In the first place, to love the Lord God with all one’s heart, all one’s soul and all one’s strength. Then, one’s neighbour as oneself’. Further on, the penultimate chapter (Chapter 72) of the Rule concludes: ‘Let them practise fraternal charity with all purity. Let them fear and love God. Let them love their abbot with a sincere and humble charity. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ; and may he bring us all alike to life everlasting’. Here – and in the whole text of the Rule – is the practical working out, in community, of the words of our Lord. It is a lifetime’s task and, like the Desert Father, we are always beginning again.

May we all be brought together, in love, to life everlasting, and may God bless you this day.