Gospel Reflection May 6 – Deacon Frank

Sunday, May 6

Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 15: 9 – 17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

In our culture we often hear a lot about love. Love is a favorite theme in the media, in popular novels, in movies and television dramas, in songs, and in greeting cards. Love is usually portrayed as an emotion, a warm fuzzy feeling, or a pleasurable attraction. This weekend at Mass you will hear from Saint John, the beloved disciple, reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus and simply sum up love by showing us that “GOD IS LOVE” and what God wants is for us to live in love just as Jesus has shown us, by loving one another. In this way we will share in the joy of God. The whole message of scripture is to be found in these eight words “…love one another as I have loved you…”

It is important to know that when Jesus talks about “love” he’s not talking about the mating instinct, which is good but which is too often exploited in our secular culture as the only kind of love that has any importance. Jesus is talking about giving ourselves for the benefit of another as he did for us. Love is the key to everything: it explains why God created us; it explains why Jesus came to earth; it explains why God wants us to live with him eternally; it explains the Mass we celebrate; and, it explains how we are to act toward one another.

As we continue this season of Easter, may we reflect on how the apostles grew in their awareness of the Risen Lord in their lives, and pray for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to know that Jesus is with us today, helping us to love one another just as he has loved us.

Deacon Frank Iannarino