Gospel Reflection for 19th May: A new commandment Love one another. The 5th Sunday of Easter
A new commandment; love one another
From the very beginning of his public ministry, Jesus challenged everyone’s expectations of what sort of Messiah he would be.
He would not conform to the image of a political king who would overthrow the Roman empire and start a new regime.
The Kingdom of God that he would usher in would be one that was never thought of, seen or experienced before. It would not be based on power, prestige or politics. It would not be based on wealth, influence or importance. In fact, it would be the very opposite to all these. The foundation of the Kingdom of God is love and service.
Jesus came with a very new and radical message; he came to proclaim the Good News to the poor. At the time of Jesus, those who were poor or sick in any way were seen as sinners who were outside the scope of God’s love and attention. The way Jesus treated and spoke to those who were sick or poor not only challenged the established religious leaders, it also annoyed and angered them. The message and word of God that Jesus proclaimed then and offers us now is new, challenging and still very radical.
Sometimes it can be struggle to understand what Jesus means when he speaks to us, especially when he uses the language, images symbols often found in his parables. However, this is not the case today with this Sunday’s gospel. The command from Jesus; love one another just as I love you, is very clear, direct, straightforward and requires no debate or discussion. Secondly, it is a command that connects us closely to others; to those around us. This means those in our families and those we know and meet in our Christian community. Jesus does not say, put up with each other, tolerate each other, like each or get along with each other. He is very clear; we are to love each other.
To really love each other as Jesus asks us can be very difficult and challenging. It can be so easier to just talk about it as a nice idea. It is so much harder to actually love others, especially those that we find difficult to get on with or even talk to! It can be so easier to say prayers and sing hymns that tell us about love. It has been said, because we have prayed and precisely because we have prayed, we are challenged to turn our attention to those around us who need our help and support. This is Christian love.
In one gospel, Jesus warns us that whatever we do for each other, we do for him. Whatever we fail to do for each other, we fail to do for him. Whenever we love each other, we are loving Jesus. When we turn our back of others, we are turning our back on Jesus. This coming week may we turn our attention to those around us; may we love them as Jesus loves each of us.
– Br Michael Moore
5th Sunday of Easter
Jesus gives the new commandment, to love one another
When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
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