6th Sunday of Easter(B)


6th SUNDAY OF EASTER (B) John 15: 9-17 May 6, 2018

Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him“.

Our communications today give us a sense that the world has shrunk, that our earth has become smaller. Our communication with any person in any part of the world is easy and quick. The Social Web is a set of social relations that link people through the World Wide Web. The Social web includes websites and software that are designed to develop and maintain social interaction. The online social interactions are the basis of a great online activity such as online information, education, gaming, shopping, banking and social networking websites, and unfortunately to do evil also. As people's activities on the Web and communication increase, information about our social relationships become more available. Social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and many more enable people and organizations to contact each other with and become friends. The Catholic Church has thousands of web sites around the world that help us to pray and reflect on issues of our faith. For instance, in this our web site templodesanfrancisco.com we find a weekly Sunday Reflection based on the Biblical Readings of the day.

The three readings of our Sunday liturgy today highlight God´s initiative to communicate with us. In the first reading, the Acts of the Apostles is the report of the first contact of the apostles with the non-Jews. It is God who confers the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his household. Even if a visit to a Gentile home would not have been seen correct in the Jewish mentality, Peter according to his earlier vision sees no distinction between the clean and the unclean. This event shows that there are not boundaries for the preaching of the Gospel. Peter says, “I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. While Peter was still speaking these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word (…) He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

In the second reading Saint John reminds us that God is love. We have sang the popular Spanish Charismatic song, “God is love, is what the Bible tells us, God is love (…) look up and you will see it in verse 8, chapter 4, First John.” John teaches us that it is God who first loves us, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” Since the nature of God is love, relations among Christians reflect the love of God manifest in Christ; on the contrary a person who does not love knows nothing of God.

In the Gospel John shows us the same thing, it is Jesus who has called us to be his disciples; we do not have to search God out, he is the one who has found us, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” Christ is the one who chooses us his beloved, not vice versa. As Jesus shares his knowledge of the Father with us his disciples, in the same way he shares his love with us.

In his initiative to be our friend Jesus tells his disciples, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one´s life for one´s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” When Jesus says that he “surrenders his life for us,” it is not just rhetoric, he means it and in fact he did it. Slavery in John´s context is the slavery of sin, from which his friends have been freed. Friends trust friends and communicate with each other.

When we profess our faith during Mass, in the Creed we say, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty“. This means, there is only one God, and we are all one people. It is very clear, especially in our first reading today, that God does not exclude anybody from his love and salvation; we, therefore have no right to exclude no one from our love on grounds of social status, race, color, religion, gender, sex orientation, or any other reason.

We feel a great attraction by the love, the tenderness and the magnetism of Jesus Christ. It is not enough to use empty words to say that we love our mothers, and probably give to them flowers or a gift, just because it is Mothers´ day. The same thing happens with Jesus. We have to live his love. In today´s Gospel we hear Jesus saying: “Remain in my love.” He tells us that we remain in His Love if we keep His commandments. Jesus summarizes all commandments in our relationship with others by saying: “Love one another.” If our love is not perfect yet, let us not be discouraged, let us remember the aphorism, “God makes a great finish out of a slow start, and nothing can be done until we take the first step.”

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