April 24, 2016: Fifth Sunday of Easter

My children, . . . I give you a new commandment:
love one another. As I have loved you,
so you also should love one another. (John 13: 35)

In the final verse of today’s Gospel, Jesus once again calls us his children and commands us to love one another as he has loved us. In others words, we are to love each other as a parent loves his or her child.

The love a parent has for his or her child is probably the most powerful example of selfless love I have witnessed. Most parents will do almost anything to care for, protect or lead their child in the right direction even when it is painful for them.

It is comforting and challenging to know that this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us. He was willing to and did make the ultimate sacrifice for us through Jesus the Christ and his death on the cross. But it didn’t end there. The resurrection brought new life. It is not the same as life before the resurrection, but transformed. We too are transformed as we walk with the Lord through this life. God can and does work through every situation and will transform us if we allow it to happen.

How does our love mirror that of our parent God? Where does it fall short? What more can each of us do to better imitate Christ and by so doing, build the kingdom?

Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S. (Cincinnati)



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