Gospel Reflection: Sixth Sunday of Easter

Reading 2

1 Jn 4:7-10

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.


John 15:9-17

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

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
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.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another."


Throughout the Gospels, we hear the stories of Our Lord’s compassion for the sick, His mercy on sinners, and, in the end, His gift of Himself on the Cross for us. He gives us the ultimate example of authentic love. In this Sunday’s Gospel, He follows this with an important command: “Love one another as I love you.”

Saint John tells us in the Second Reading that “love is of God.” It is not a worldly reality that can change with times, nor is it something that we define ourselves. Instead, it is a gift we first receive from Him. When He calls us to “Love one another,” He certainly invites us to be compassionate and kind, especially to those who face hardships or rejection. However, authentic Christian love demands something more: the selflessness and sacrifice that Our Lord models for us and gives us the grace to imitate.

Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, reflecting on her own calling in life, famously wrote: “My vocation is love.” She understood that the Father calls us in our vocations to live out the love Our Lord has poured out first for us. Consider the husband who spends his days attending to his ailing wife’s medical needs, even though she cannot remember his name. Consider the religious sister who faithfully visits the incarcerated, bringing them hope and encouragement when others may not look in their direction. Consider the young mother who experiences sleepless nights comforting, feeding, and rocking her precious little one. Consider the parish priest who leaves the rectory in the middle of the night to anoint a dying parishioner, faithful to his promise to bring his people the Sacraments. These are heroic, everyday examples of living Christ’s commandment to love.

Perhaps there are people in our own lives we struggle to love. Perhaps we need extra strength to carry out the duties of our vocations. We ask Our Lord, especially as we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for the grace to love in this authentic way. He promises to always remain with us, and He will give you every grace you need to persevere in your vocation.

Please be assured of my prayers for you before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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