On the eve of His death, Jesus talks once again to His Apostles about the absolute necessity of loving one another
Reflections on the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 15, 2022): ACTS 14:21-27; PS 145:8-9,10-11,12-13; REV 21:1-5; JN 13:31-33, 34-35
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Christ’s love for His people journeys through suffering and death before His Resurrection.
The word love is used in so many different ways. We think of the love of married couples; the love of parents and their children; the love of friends. We often focus on the warm feeling of love for others. But husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and anyone who truly loves another knows that the reality can often mean hard work. Being patient, when the other person is irritating or when you are tired is not easy -- but you try to do your best, because you do love. But what about people with whom you are not close? Or strangers? Or people you actually dislike -- even consider enemies in some way? Jesus had often spoken with His Apostles about love, but on that last evening, at the Last Supper that He shared with them, He wanted them to truly grasp the importance of what He said. In St. John’s Gospel we hear our Lord talk about many things at that gathering. Just before today’s reading He told the Apostles that He would be betrayed. Judas left to carry out his plan and the others are unsure about what has happened. Christ speaks about His glory in the Father and the Father’s glory in Him. And then, He tells them, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:33-35).
In the last hours before Jesus’ arrest, trial, torture, and crucifixion, He speaks of love. He particularly wants these friends and followers who are closest to Him to understand the need for them to love each other the way He loves them. Christ’s love for His people journeys through suffering and death before His Resurrection. He wants them to know that love is more than an emotion, it is a choice. He chose to obey His Father in laying down His life for us. And we, too, are called to love others as generously as He loves us. Let us trust our Lord to show us the way to share His love with every person we meet.
Suggested missionary action: We can spend some time this week meditating on today’s Gospel reading. We can consider Christ’s love for us and the love He wants us to share with one another -- and what that love really looks like in our day-to-day living.