6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER B HOMILY REFLECTION:
A LOVE THAT GIVES AND FORGIVES.
- Summary of ideas of today’s readings.
Christ has called us to be his friends and it is he who has chosen us and has destined us to bring the Good News of his love to the world.
- We will do this by loving one another as He has done by giving His life for us and for the whole world (Gospel).
- In this way we testify that God is love, a love that he has shown us by sending us his Son, as propitiation for our sins (2nd reading).
- And that love has been poured into our hearts with the Holy Spirit who has been given to us through the sacraments of Christian initiation (cfr. 1st reading.).
2. Loving others as Jesus loved us.
In a previous post, someone commented in a seemingly incredulous and pessimistic tone: “Imitate Christ’s virtues?…Really?” Well, in today’s Gospel, Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us once again: “REMAIN IN MY LOVE…LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I LOVE YOU (Jn 15: 9.12).”
“AS I LOVE YOU”: He told us the manner on how to love and He encouraged us to imitate his love which
- is manifested in keeping his commandments, just as He “kept the Father’s commandments”;
- that gives itself for the sake of the beloved, even up to the point of “laying down his life for his friend (Jn 15:13);”
- bears fruit of holiness and apostolate (cfr. Jn 15:16).
THIS IS THE PATH TO FOLLOW IF WE ARE TO BE REALLY HAPPY: LOVE OTHERS AS HE LOVED US. If we struggle to love the way Jesus loved, only then shall WE REMAIN IN THE FATHER’S LOVE and only then shall HIS MY JOY MAY BE IN US and OUR JOY MIGHT BE COMPLETE (cfr. Jn 15:11)
TO LOVE OTHERS THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS NOT AN EASY TASK, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE AS WELL, FOR HE WOULDN’T HAVE ASKED US TO DO SO IF IT WERE NOT FEASIBLE. A love which gives oneself totally for the sake of the beloved:
- REQUIRES A DAILY EXERCISE OF FORGETTING ONE’S SELF, OF GIVING ONE’S SELF…
- IT consists “IN DEEDS THAN IN WORDS, it is not a saga of love a fantasy, or that which our hearts beat a little, but nothing more. It consists in CONCRETE DEEDS” and “many times it is a painful love: the love we think of in Jesus carrying the cross (Pope Francis, Homily in St. Marta, May 7,2015).”
- Moreover, there is one characteristic of Christ’s love which he demonstrated throughout His life and especially in the Cross which you and I can live better: A LOVE THAT FORGIVES. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Lk 23:34).”
Pope Francis, in his Bula “Misericordiae Vultus” (The Face of Mercy) reminded us that
“WE ARE CALLED TO SHOW MERCY because mercy has first been shown to us. PARDONING OFFENCES BECOMES THE CLEAREST EXPRESSION OF MERCIFUL LOVE, AND FOR US CHRISTIANS IT IS AN IMPERATIVE FROM WHICH WE CANNOT EXCUSE OURSELVES. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet PARDON IS THE INSTRUMENT PLACED INTO OUR FRAGILE HANDS TO ATTAIN SERENITY OF HEART. TO LET GO OF ANGER, WRATH, VIOLENCE, AND REVENGE ARE NECESSARY CONDITIONS TO LIVING JOYFULLY (n. 9).”
Dear friends, let us ask ourselves: HOW MUCH DO I STRUGGLE ─FOR LOVE OF GOD─ TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS? DO I KNOW HOW TO GIVE MYSELF –MY TIME, MY COMPASSION, MY KIND WORD, MY GENEROUS HELP─ TO THOSE WHO NEED IT? DO I STRIVE TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE OFFENDED ME, PRAYING FOR THEM, KNOWING THAT ALL THESE ARE NECESSARY CONDITIONS SO THAT CHRIST’S JOY IN US MIGHT BE COMPLETE?
Let us ask the intercession of Our Mother, Help of Christians and Mother of Fair Love, so that WE MAY STRIVE DAILY TO LOVE OTHERS AS JESUS LOVED US.
Stay safe as always. A great week ahead and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
PHOTO CREDIT: Juan de Mesa, “Cristo del Amor” (Sevilla) by Li Taipo (detail)
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