5th Sunday of Easter (C):
THE NOVELTY OF THE GOSPEL IN THE NEW COMMANDMENT.
JESUS’ LOVE: “AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”
Dear brethren in Christ, today’s Sunday Mass highlights the novelty of the Gospel which restores all things −man, life, history, the entire universe−to God, as the culmination of the promises of God’s love.
Easter season constitutes the highest renovation and instauration of all things in Christ which, as fruit of His redeeming work of salvation, -His Paschal Mystery- paved the way for the NEW MAN and the NEW CREATION: new heaven and earth, where God will dwell with His people and
“God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away. The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new (Rev 21: 4-5. Second reading).”
The Acts of the Apostles 14, 21-26 (1st Reading) recounts how Paul and Barnabas preached the Gospel in different cities and when they returned to Antioch, “called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles”.
- Urged by God’s love, Paul proclaimed the Mystery of the Paschal Redemption, creating communities of faith and love among the Gentiles, not only with his preaching but above all with his life, in spite of all the hardships they encountered.
In the Gospel taken from St. John 13, 31-33.34-35, Jesus gave the Apostles the New Commandment: Love one another as I HAVE LOVED YOU.
- In this consists the culmination of all what has been preached in the Sacred Scriptures about love of God and love of neighbour: TO LOVE IN THE SAME WAY AS JESUS LOVED.
- Jesus’ love is the origin, reason of being, permanent misión and supreme guarantee of the Church. His love is the supreme lesson which the His Most Sacred Heart has bestowed us. In his love, God shows us that He is truly “kind and merciful…good to everyone (Psalm 144).”
- With this manner of loving, JESUS RENEWS THE ENTIRE CREATION AND HUMANITY. He renews each one of us through the Sacrament of Baptism so that we become NEW MEN IN CHRIST, HEIRS AND LIVING WITNESSES OF THE GOSPEL (Cfr. St. Agustin, Treatise, 65, 1 on the Gospel of St. John). At the same time, as new creatures redeemed by the Our Lord Jesus Christ, He calls on us a NEW WAY OF LIVING WHICH IS THAT OF THE EVANGELICAL LOVE.
- Jesus calls us to abandon the works and life of the OLD MAN within us in order to LIVE THE HIS VIRTUES AND LIFE, impregnating our surroundings with our words, actions and example, the life which Jesus has gained for us through his redeeming and unsurpassable love. Only then shall the Paschal Mystery of Christ will be carried out in our life.
Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the paschal mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism, may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal (Opening Prayer).
Have a great week ahead! God bless you and your loved ones!
Fr. Rolly A, priest of Opus Dei.