May 15: 5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 14:21-27; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:1, 31-35
One Sunday a priest was finishing up a series on marriage. At the end of the service, he was giving out small wooden crosses to each married couple. He said, “Place this cross in the room in which you fight the most and you will be reminded of Jesus’ new commandment, and you won’t argue as much.” One woman came up after the service and said: “You had better give me five crosses.”
The Gospel of the Day is the wonderful exhortation of Jesus to His followers with the “Great Commandment of Love”. Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “A new commandment I give you, that You love one another, even as I have loved you”. It is interesting to note that what Jesus gives is a COMMANDMENT… it was not a suggestion, it was not a piece of advice, it was not an ordinary recommendation…It was a Commandment!
TO LOVE, is a COMMAND! Every follower of Christ…is expected … is bound … and is under obligation … TO LOVE… as JESUS LOVED! We could take a clue on understanding some dimensions of “how to love, the way Jesus loved”, by taking recourse to the 15th Chapter of St John. Jesus speaks of three dimensions of love in the Gospel. A Love That Is Obedient. Jesus says, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love”. Jesus remained in the love of the Father, by doing His commandments. And he enjoins the same principle of Obedient Love to His disciples too. The one who loves, also obeys…The one who loves, also follows the commands. Do I have a love that is obedient? Happy to undertake the various duties and responsibilities entrusted to me and fulfilling them to the best of my capabilities.
A Love That Is Sacrificial. Jesus says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. Jesus showed the depth of His love by undertaking the highest sacrifice of His own life. And he enjoins the same principle of Sacrificial Love to His disciples too. The one who loves, also offers and foregoes some luxuries and securities. The one who loves, also gives up many of the comforts and personal desires. Do I have a love that is sacrificial…? Willing to lay down one’s bias and prejudices, dying to one’s evil inclinations, putting to sword one’s bad habits that takes away from God and making adjustments of one’s self-desires to make way for God’s plans in life.
A Love that is fruitful. Jesus says, “I chose and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain” Jesus showed the quality of His love by displaying the fruits of compassion, tender mercy, an accommodating heart, gentleness and generosity. And he enjoins the same principle of fruitful love to His disciples too. The one who loves, also bears fruits of patience, kindness, self-control and faithfulness… The one who loves, also lives a life that radiates the fruits of joy, generosity and peace. Do I have a love that is fruitful? Bearing fruits that witness God’s love by promoting unity and harmony and attracting many to the tender mercy of the Lord by a live of passion and zeal.
The Lord has loved us tremendously… with a love that is obedient, sacrificial and fruitful. Each of us is to possess this same treasure of love. Love binds every brokenness…Love joins every divorced situation… Love unites every ruptured circumstance… May the Lord enable us to be filled from His fountain of love and share His joy and peace to a world that is broken and seeks for consolation, comfort and calm… … and thus help us to share in His Dwelling place “where every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain…” (Rev 21: 4). Amen