Fifth Sunday of Easter 2019
Jesus said; “I give you a new commandment: Love one another, just as I have loved you. By this love you have for one another everyone will know that you are My disciples.” Gospel of St John 13:35
At Mass this Sunday, in our Gospel reading we will be given privileged access to the intimacy of the Upper Room where Jesus and the Twelve are commemorating their Passover Meal together. This will be known forever after as the Last Supper and the first Mass ever to be celebrated. Jesus knows that the time left to Him is short. In a matter of hours He will be arrested, put on trial and eventually crucified. He needs to say His final words to the disciples which will sustain them in the days ahead. They are also a mandate for how all believers who seek to follow Jesus are to regard one another and all whom they meet each day.
The same commandment is given to us in our modern world also. It’s message and impact has not changed in over 2,000 years. During this Season of Easter and beyond we can put the words of Jesus into action as we care for our brothers and sisters who are in need. We can do this by actively practising the Corporal Works of Mercy, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty. We can also live out the Spiritual Works of Mercy by comforting the sorrowful and bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving our brother and sister from the heart, just as Christ forgave those who crucified Him. Jesus also readily and graciously forgives us for the wrongs done to Him by our sin. With the Holy Spirit’s help we can show love by living as Jesus would have us live. We can only do this if we remain close to Jesus. He is the True Vine with us as His branches by asking His Spirit who lives within us to empower us and make us fruitful. As we remain in Him, He remains in us and our lives will glorify the Father from whom all good things proceed.
As we continue on our Easter journey with the Risen Lord and on our own pilgrimage of life and journey of faith, may we strive to love one another deeply and from the heart, just as Jesus has and does love us. He showed the full extent of His love, not only though His birth in Bethlehem, by His short life but in particular during His Passion and cruel death and through His Resurrection Life. Today, our Glorified Lord chooses to walk beside us individually and strengthens us day by day to live in a way which pleases Him, the fruits of which shows not only our love for God but our love for others whom we encounter each day.
Lord Jesus Christ,
in this Easter season we remember that You conquered death and rose again from the dead.
Now the tomb lies empty because You are alive for evermore.
In our daily lives, help us never to forget that Your Risen Presence is always with us.
Help us to remember;
that You are with us in every time of confusion to guide and to direct us;
that You are with us in every time of sadness to comfort and console us;
that You are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire us;
that You are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend us;
that You are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of Your side.
You turn our darkness into light, in Your light we shall see light.
In your Name we pray. Amen.