Sixth Sunday of Easter
Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17
As we listen to the proclamation of the Gospel, we may notice the reference to “commands” and “commandments”. We tend not to associate commands with friendship and love because those we count as our friends are not usually in the habit of commanding or ordering us to do what they want.
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from Jesus’ Farewell Discourse in the Fourth Gospel (Jn. 13:31 – 17:26), which He gave to His apostles after the last supper. It becomes clear that by keeping His commandments we remain in His love. Remaining in the love of God or of Jesus, and doing what God or Jesus commands seems to be one and the same thing. In other words, love is not just an emotion, it is always expressed in action that is in tune with and for the sake of the other. Discipleship needs no further explanation. Jesus’ whole life and courage in the face of impending death has demonstrated what it means to love one another.
Abide, therefore, in His love. What does Jesus mean by this? Undoubtedly, He means that keeping His commandments is the sign, the proof that we are His true friends. It’s the condition for Jesus to reciprocate and assure us of His friendship. But He seems to mean something else as well, namely, that keeping His commandments builds up in us the same love that Jesus has by nature.
Keeping them communicates to us the particular
way of loving we see displayed in all of Jesus’ earthly life. It is love that made Jesus one with the Father and at the same time urged Him to identify with and be completely one with all His brothers and sisters, especially with the least, the weakest, the most marginalized. Jesus’ love was a love that healed every wound of the soul and of the body, gave peace and joy to every heart, and overcame every division, rebuilding fraternity and unity among all. If we put His word into practice, Jesus will live in us and also make us instruments of His love. Beloved in Christ, Jesus understands the frustration of being the peacemaker in a conflict society. He knows the insult of being an advocate of forgiveness and reconciliation in the face of resentment and claims to justice. He has experienced the pain of being the one who deeply cares for others wellbeing in a world in which indifference is the lifestyle. Jesus has experienced the isolation of being a preacher of unity in a society marred by prejudice, greed and fear. Yet He calls us to continue to do same, not minding the challenges that come with it.
Acts 10-25-26.34.44-48; Ps 98:1.2-3ab.3cd-4 (R.2); 1 Jn 4:7-10; Accl Jn 14:23; Gosp Jn 15:9-17
Prayer Points:
1. Father, I ask for help to abide in Your love, and pledge to work for healing, justice, peace and reconciliation, in the name of Jesus.
2. Take seriously the “Prayer of St. Francis” of Assisi.
Exercise: Resolve today to always stand for Truth, Reconciliation and Peace
Meditation: 1 John 4:7-8