Gospel Reflection for Sunday 17th of May 2020 The 6th Sunday of Easter
Love me and love one another
On Holy Thursday night we celebrate what is called ‘The Mass of the Lord’s Supper.’ It tells us of the last meal that Jesus had with his closest followers. However, there is one noticeable absence – food!
There is no actual meal in the gospel we read that night. Instead what we read and experience is Jesus washing the feet of those who are with him. Before Jesus is raised on the cross and pours out his life for us, he bends low, pours water and washes our feet. This is the ultimate act of love – the master and Lord becomes the slave out of love for us.
Todays’ begins with Jesus saying us; ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.’ In another gospel, when Jesus is asked what the most important commandment is, he replies,
‘Love your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ (Luke 10.27.)
As his followers today, we are asked to imitate the example of Jesus who poured himself out for us. The command to love seems and sounds easy enough, but as we know from experience, it is challenging and at times very difficult.
Notice that Jesus does not ask us to ‘like’ each other – now that would be easy! Liking or disliking something or someone is often casual or temporary. Love asks far more from us. The call to love offers us no directions, guidelines or no list of duties, such as going to church or saying our prayers at certain times. There are no limits to love and there is no time when we can say ‘that’s enough’.
Because of twenty four news and social media, our once vast world has now become a ‘global village’. We are now more in communication and contact with others in ways we never thought possible five or ten years ago. This puts a huge responsibility on us.
We can’t simple say ‘that has nothing to do with me’, when we see a disaster, natural or otherwise on our televisions. We are called and challenged to do something – anything, no matter how small it seems.
During these recent weeks and months we have seen the greatest acts of love. Nurses, doctors, and care workers in nursing homes across the country are putting themselves in harms ways to tenderly and compassionately care for those who are sick in the most severe ways.
Parents and families who are self-isolating are looking after each other as they always do, but also in ways they never thought possible. I heard one parent describe their day in the following way; ‘I am a teacher, a cook, an entertainer and even a referee when rows break out! Love knows no limit.
So many people are delivering food and medicine to those who are housebound and isolated. In communities across the country, volunteers are running clothes and food banks and so much more for those who desperately need immediate and practical help at this time. Love knows no limit.
The love that Jesus speaks of calls us to move beyond ourselves, just as he did and to place ourselves at the needs and service of others. We do this when we do the smallest of things with the greatest of love. ‘Our love for each other should not be just words; it must be a love which shows itself in action’. (1 John. 3.18)
|Gospel||John 14:15-21 ©|
I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate
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