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Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 18, 2019

Alleluia, Alleluia.

I give you a new Commandment, says the Lord;

Love on another as I have loved you.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

..

The Gospel of Saint John 13:31-33, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once.

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.  I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION by Monsignor Joseph Marino

There is a hidden challenge in reading the Sunday Scriptures during the Season of Easter.  Our tendency is to presume that the Sunday Gospel should dwell on the events that took place either on Easter Sunday or the days immediately following Easter.  However, the Church is not really interested in providing a chronological or historical story of Jesus after his Resurrection.  Instead the focus of the Easter Season Gospels is to highlight the effects that Jesus Christ’s Death and Resurrection are having on you and me, the Church of God!

Therefore, there is no mistake that this morning the Gospel takes place at the Last Supper, that is the night before Jesus dies.  Judas has left the assembly and is setting into motion what will ultimately lead to the execution of Jesus.  Therefore, the saving mystery of the salvation of humanity is underway.  In the Evangelist John’s language the “hour” has come for God to display his glory and power — “Now is the Son of Man glorified!” That is to say that now is the time for God to reveal that Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Son of God and the long awaited Son of Man predicted in the Book of Daniel!  Now is the time for God’s glory to be displayed in his Son — the shared glory that the Son of God had from the beginning with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

Since this is the most dramatic moment in Salvation History, the time in which all humanity from the beginning of time to the end will be washed of their sins and restored to the original state of grace, it is most appropriate that Jesus would hallmark the core of his teaching, the center piece of the will of the Father.  Jesus expresses clearly that we are to love one another as he loves us — “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”  It is this love of each other and only in this way that “all will know that you are my disciples.” 

Jesus’ command that our love be selfless and sacrificial is no “pie-in-the-sky” dream.  Christ-like love for each other is possible because Christ has first loved us with a complete love displayed clearly on the cross.  Christ not only leads by example but at his Death and Resurrection Christ poured forth his Holy Spirit so that we can truly imitate his love — to love like Jesus!  The love of Jesus has changed us.  His love has transformed us into true disciples and has equipped us with the power to love one another. 

Allow me to paraphrase the opening prayer of Mass.   Almighty God and Father, continue to establish the life of your Son within us.  You have made us new in Holy Baptism.  Therefore, may the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ incredible love for us continue to grow within us through your assistance.  And, under your protective care may we bear much fruit by truly imitating your Son by our self-less love for one another, and thereby come to the joys of eternal life.  Amen.

Prosit!

Monsignor Joseph Marino

 

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