‘I give you a new commandment,’ says the Lord, ‘that you love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ John 13:34
We behold your glory, O God,
in the love shown by your Son,
lifted up on the cross and exalted on high:
be glorified anew in the love
we have for one another
as disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- Acts 11:1-18
- Psalm 148
- Revelation 21:1-16
- John 13:31-35
- Acts 16:9-15
- Psalm 67
- Revelation 21:10-14, 22-22.5
- John 14:23-29
A Thought to Ponder
Easter 5 – John 13:31-35
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Today’s Gospel takes place in the cenacle the night of the Last Supper. Jesus has just completed the dramatic washing of his disciples’ feet and has further shocked his disciples with the warnings of Judas’ role in the events to come. After Judas leaves, Jesus addresses his own, his dearest friends. He leaves them a “new” commandment of love – what is “new” is the model Jesus leaves them of selfless, sacrificial, forgiving love. This same “new” model of love is the indispensable sign of discipleship.
To those who profess to follow him – from the apostles to us to the very last generation who will inhabit this planet – Jesus gives a “new” commandment, a new standard for all human relationships: as I have loved you, so must your love be for one another. It is that concept of unconditional, sacrificial love that distinguishes us as men and women of faith, as true disciples of the Risen One.
As a Church, we come together at the “command” of Christ to accompany one another through our lives’ journeys to the reign of God, to support one another in life’s joys and sorrows, to “be Christ” to one another in love and compassion.
Jesus leaves his Church a “new” standard of love, a standard that transcends legalisms and measurements, a standard that renews and re-creates all human relationships, a standard that transforms the most Godless and secular world view into the compassion and justice of God. It is a love that grows stronger the more it is tested, a love that endures and remains steadfast the more it is pulled, a love that continues to heal and forgive the more it is engaged.
Our very identity as disciples of Christ is centred in such persistent and constant love; our faithfulness in imitating the compassion and forgiveness of the Risen One is lived in our openness of heart and spirit to love selflessly, completely, and unconditionally, as God has loved us in his Christ.
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