MAY 7. EASTER. Wk 5. Fri. Jn. 15. 12-17
Updated: Sep 5
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘This is my commandment:
love one another,
as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me:
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you is to love one another.’
These readings are from Christ’s last discourse on the eve of his Passion so it was a very intense and meaningful time for Christ as he gave his final teachings to his disciples; - and to us his followers; - and, as usual, it is all to do with Love and maintaining a Union of Love.
Immediately preceding today’s reading we had the parable of the vine, and the washing of the feet, symbols of the Love Christ had for his people; - now was time to look to his Crucifixion. “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends!”
Sadly, it is so easy for us to become accustomed to Christ’s life that we “overlook” his most significant teachings; - the depths of his Love, and his desire that we should imitate his Love; - “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you!”
We need to get our heads around this truth; - that we are being asked to maintain a loving relationship with the Son of God, while we are here on earth, and we are also receiving this invitation despite the fact we are sinners; - who regularly offend God by putting our own desires before the will of God?
And now we are told we are not merely God’s creatures, whom he loves, but rather, we are his “friends”; -if we imitate his love; - ‘You are my friends if you do what I command you!’
What we are clearly being taught here is the centrality of ‘The Great Commandment!” Christ wants us to understand that while on earth, when he is physically absent, we are to imitate his love; - by loving our fellow creatures; - as he has loved us!
What a wonderful, and simple invitation? “What I command you is to love one another!”; - in the same way I have loved you; - a sacrificial love; - where I abandon my own interests!
Gospel Acclamation Jn15:15
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
First reading Acts 15:22-31 ·
It was decided by the Holy Spirit and us not to burden you beyond these essentials
The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:
‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’
The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.