Sixth Sunday of Easter
Jesus said “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 9, 13 JB
We are now in the Sixth Week of Easter. Our Gospel reading is taken from the second half of St John’s Gospel, Chapter 15, which follows on from last week when Jesus describes Himself as being the True Vine. He tells us that the Father loves us and Jesus Himself loves us. We are to remain in His love.
We ask ourselves, ‘What is love?’ What is the source of ‘real love?’ Have we ever experienced such love?
Jesus tells us that He is the source of this love. Love is not just feelings, although they are important-– it is a way of being. Love has been defined as being that ‘where one person seeks the ultimate good of another at the expense of their own time, energies and very self.’ The Greek word for this kind of sacrificial love is agape. We see such agape – unconditional love – shown most powerfully for us during the Passion and Death of Jesus – His love is revealed – the depths of God’s love is Jesus dying in agony on the Cross – for each and every one of us. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians asks the Lord to ‘….help us grasp the breadth and length, the height and the depth of the love of Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:18. JB
We continue our joy as the Easter season continues and Jesus once again reminds us of the reason for His coming to give His life for us who are His friends. He wants the Disciples and us to understand that His life has been lived as one supreme act of love and we are to live in the light of that love each day. Inspired by Jesus’ love for us, let us ask His help to reach out to those around us – our friends and our enemies. For we are to show love to them too, just as Jesus did.
As we continue on these final days of Easter, let us ask Jesus to reveal His love to us and guide us in that wonderful, marvellous love. St Augustine of Hippo writes:
“I came to You late, O Beauty so ancient and new. I came to love You late. You were within me and I was outside where I rushed about wildly searching for You like some monster loose in Your beautiful world. You were with me but I was not with You. You called me, You shouted to me, You wrapped me in Your Splendour, You broke past my deafness, You bathed me in Your Light, You sent my blindness reeling. You gave out such a delightful fragrance and I drew it in and came breathing after You. I tasted, and it made me hunger and thirst; You touched me, and I burned to know Your Peace.”