This is my commandment!
Readings: 1st: Acts 15: 22-31; Ps: 56; Gos: John 15:12-17
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is the Friday of the fifth week of Easter. Except for verses 9-11, today’s gospel is a repetition of the gospel of yesterday.
One question that both a sermon preacher and his audience usually ask when readings are repeated is, why repeat this reading? We read and heard it yesterday!
Yes, it is a very valid and solid question, However, in both sacred scripture and everyday life, genuine repetitions serve a very important purpose. They emphasize important very themes or points.
As we have already seen, in the readings of this season of Easter, especially, in the gospel according to John, Christ repeated messages and words many times.
In today’s case, the very important theme is love. It is the foundation of our Christian faith. It is, one of the four theological virtues. Hence, it begins with, and proceeds from God. It is the foundation of our salvation.
God sent Christ to us because of his love for us (Jn 3:16). Christ responded positively because of his love for, both the Father and humanity. He came, and served with love.
Today, Christ asks us to do the same. His commandment is one and simple, “love one another as I love you.” This was his purpose of calling and choosing us, that we might be, and act like him.
It is not easy to fulfill this commandment. That is why, the same Christ assures us: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9). So, like Paul, we simply need to believe that: “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:19).
Yes, Christ has given us all we need to fulfill this commandment. May he fill us with his grace, so that, we may begin to love others as he loves us. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Peace be with you all!