Gospel Reading: Sunday 5 May 2024

Jesus said to his disciples: 9 ‘As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.

WelCom May 2024

Sixth Sunday of Easter the Resurrection of the Lord – John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples: 9 ‘As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.

10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

11 ‘I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.

12 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.

13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made know to you everything I have learnt from my Father.

16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

17 This I command you: love one another.’

‘Love one another as I have loved you’

Tom Gibson

The theme of this reflection is firstly about the fact that the greatest love a person can have for another is to risk, give up or lay down their lives for that person. Secondly, Christ has commanded us to love each other as he has loved us. It’s a difficult reflection to write because giving up our lives for another person is a huge call, and Christ states this is the greatest commandment there is. It comes directly from our Lord, and it was also his instruction to his disciples; ‘if you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love”’. 

‘Command’ is a strong word. It may be difficult to think we are commanded by our Lord who is so caring and loving towards us. Perhaps we can think of it a bit like a doctor’s prescription, which is like a commandment we have to take, as whatever medication is prescribed, is the best thing for us. So perhaps we can understand Christ’s commandments a bit like a doctor’s prescription. If we know what’s good for us, we will do what it says.

I always thought to lay down your life for your friend was like a military instruction that our soldiers had to obey at war. But here, it comes directly from our Lord. 

We did not choose Jesus in our lives; no, he has chosen us, as he has chosen his disciples. He was the first friend to lay down his life for another, because he died on the cross for us. 

With this in mind, it is helpful to appreciate his commission. The commission he gives us as Catholics is to go out and bear fruit. It is insufficient just to go to church and think we are doing God’s will. No, his commandment is more than that; we need to go out and live our Catholic lives, serving God and serving our fellow men and women, to the extent that might need us to put another person’s life first, above our own. 

But let’s not forget that Christ did that for us first.