Fifth Sunday of Easter C: May 8, 2022
John 13: 31-33a, 34-35
Fr. John tran
After the washing of the feet, in John’s Gospel, which we have just heard today, Jesus says: “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We have just celebrated the solemn washing of the feet on Holy Thursday about four weeks ago. Do we remember it? Love one another as I have loved you. He did not say simple, ‘love one another.’ No, that would be much easier than what he asks of us today. Not just love another as any human might be able to; remember St. Paul said that it is difficult to die for another person, but for someone who is really good, we might just be able to die. No, not that. Do not love one another with human love; rather, Jesus wants us to love one another in just the same way as he love each of us. Love not as a human, but as God loves.
Some things we have heard Jesus tell us along the way now make sense. He said, ‘Forgive as we would want to be forgiven;’ ‘The same way in which you judge others, is the way you will be judged;’ ‘What you have done for the lest of my brothers and sisters, you have done for me;’ ‘Be perfected as my heavenly Father is perfect.’
After remembering all this, we might be tempted to ask with the disciples after hearing the difficulties the rich would have, “Who, then, can be saved?” Who, indeed. But Jesus did not leave us orphans; instead, he has sent us his Holy Spirit to live inside us to guide us, inspire us, protect us, in short, help us be the one who can love others as Jesus loves me. To hear the Spirit, we must take time to listen in prayer, to listen in the actions of others, to listen in Mass and the Scriptures, to listen in our hearts. When we do this it is possible to love others in this way one action at a time. But, we have to pray and to make every action count. Take this song of Holy Thursday to heart:
Where charity and love are, there is God
Christ’s love has gathered us together;
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
Where charity and love are, there is God.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy stop,
May Christ our God be in our midst.
Only you and me can make Christ so present as others will recognize him. Let us start today to live this out. Today.