Sixth Sunday of Easter - 6th May, 2018

Liturgical Reflection

1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17
 

Remain in My Love

Remain in my love – a request, a commandment or maybe a bit of both?  Who, knowing of the Lord, would not be wanting to remain in his love?  The gospel goes on to tell us that to do this we must keep his commandments and that the greatest of the commandments is to love.

‘Love one another’ - very easy to say (parents say it to their children all the time) not so easy to do. A discovery you make the more adult you become.

It is on the road to adulthood that we begin jostling with the many definitions of love.  Being English speakers this is rather problematic as the word ‘love ‘encompasses a whole range of activities, from describing the enjoyment of eating an ice-cream through to the selfless dedication of parenting, not to mention romantic and erotic love.  In English the word is certainly overworked.

The love that Jesus commands of us has its beginnings in the Torah where the Jews are commanded to love God and their neighbour.

Jesus puts love on a new level when he commands us to love others as he has loved us.

How has Jesus loved us?

His ministry and death tell it all.  It is a caring, passionate, sacrificial love; a love that never counted the cost to himself.

 

How can we attain this level of loving?

We all rise to the pinnacle of such loving and even amaze ourselves occasionally with our selflessness, but then we tumble back into self-interest and self-concern, at least I do.  The attainment is possible but I venture to say that all of us have struggled at times.  Here I feel we must rely on help from the Divine through the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Then there seems to be a propensity for pointing out the shortcomings of others and preaching ‘the law’ instead of living and responding to others through Love?

Jesus commands us in today’s gospel to love one another.  John also states ‘let us love one another’.

Are we somehow or other not living or delivering this central precept?

G. K. Chesterton said, ‘Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.’

It makes you wonder, if we just concentrated on the Love component of our faith, the rest may not be so difficult.

Judith Croke