May 19, 2019 - 5th Sunday of Easter



No matter how you cut it, love is of the very essence of our lives. Without some measure of love, we are going to be, or very likely, we are, quite miserable. Getting right to the point, the ultimate experience of love is God's total love for us, and, of course, our willingness to accept this. And why wouldn't we, accept this? Well, as I read them, our Scripture Readings for this Fifth Sunday of Easter are inviting us to some deeper reflection on the subject of genuine love, and to the under­standing that it will cost us.


God is, after all, perfection: perfect being, perfect wisdom, perfect love. We, on the other hand, are sinners, repentant, redeemed, but yet, not at all perfect. We are going to have to work at our end of this kinship. Paul and Barnabas are teaching this. Enduring hardships and adopting a practice of prayer and fasting will bring us to the entry of the Kingdom of God. For his part, John, in Revelations, encourages us with his message of a "new heaven and a new earth". We hear God telling us, "See, I make all things new." Whatever the cost, it is worth it.


In the Gospel, Jesus speaks with strong conviction: "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another." Did you notice John comments that this was after Judas had left the upper room? If we are immersed in our own self-interest, can we truly love the other? As long as we make exceptions in our loving, we are really not fulfilling Jesus' new commandment.


We are living with Jesus the "greatest story ever told". It is some time ago that Jesus gave us this commandment. Our chaotic, confused world needs us to live daily this manifesting of Jesus today. Because Jesus empowers us, we can have answers to the chaos. When you receive Jesus in the Eucharist, ask Him how he wishes His power to be implemented in you and in your family.


Fr. Jim