Fifth Sunday of Easter – Year C

“…Love one another, just as I have loved you…..”

Gospel: John 13:31-35

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

Gospel Summary

While Jesus was with his disciples at the Last Supper, he pointed toward his future glory following his death and resurrection where he would be reunited with his Father in heaven. He also gave the disciples a command: to love one another. But the disciples didn’t have to figure out how to do this on their own. Jesus told them to love one another in the same way he had loved them.

 

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How did Jesus love us? He was kind, helpful, truthful, self-sacrificing, patient, hopeful, forgiving – the list goes on. Is it really possible that I can be all these things to the people around me? The answer of course is yes – but it is not easy. Sometimes it is difficult to love our neighbour if we don’t particularly like them. They may have hurt us. They may hate us. They may hold very different beliefs and values to us. But the commandment is still there – “Love one another just as I have loved you…”

Perhaps the best place to start when we are faced with loving someone we don’t like is to understand what it means to love and to be loved. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16.

Do I love anyone enough to give up my child for them? Um… No! But God did that for us. And more to the point – If I was the only person God ever created, He still would have sent His son to die just for me and save me, rather than risk spending eternity without me. That is how much God loves and values each one of us.

If we can spend a few moments contemplating that every time we open our eyes in the morning, we will soon begin to grasp the infinite importance of each human being – even the ones we don’t like! Perhaps then we can understand that to ‘love one another’ begins with seeing that person’s infinite value – not by our standards – but through the eyes of God.

  • How much does God love me?
  • How much does God love my neighbour?
  • “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Theresa

Dear Jesus,

Help me to see the value of every person through your eyes. You died for everyone without exception. Help me to learn to forgive as You do and to love as You do.

Thank You Jesus, I love You, Amen.

Easter Sunday – Year C

Gospel: John 20: 1-19

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Gospel Summary:

On Friday afternoon when Jesus died, the women had not been able to finish the customary preparation for burial. The Sabbath began at sundown on Friday, so Mary of Magdala hurried to the tomb Sunday morning to complete her task. She found the tomb empty. Certain that Jesus’ body had been stolen, she ran back to get the other disciples. Peter and the other disciple also found an empty tomb but with Jesus’ clothing rolled neatly and placed where his body had been. The disciples still didn’t understand about the resurrection and Mary wept. As she cried, two angels appeared asking why she was crying. She then saw a gardener and asked him where the body might be. When he called her by name, Mary immediately recognized Jesus.

Applying the Gospel to our lives today:

HAPPY EASTER! This is the most important feast of the Christian calendar – and the one on which the whole Christian faith rests. St. Paul puts this perfectly when he tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:

“…And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…”

The resurrection IS Christianity. Other religions have some great moral values and inspired teachings, but none of them have a claim anywhere near to the resurrection. Science has given us awesome advances and wonderful cures, but it has yet to raise anyone from the dead. In fact I struggle to think of a single claim throughout history more radical and more outrageous than that of the resurrection! Even some Christians seem to forget the radical outrageousness of the resurrection, preferring to focus on easier things like youth club pool tables and cake sales for Africa. But here it is – there is no escaping it – we have a God who lowered Himself to take on human form and then DIED FOR US to take away our sin, and then ROSE FROM THE DEAD so that we may be ASSURED of our future destiny –  eternal life with Him. Our God has gone to a lot of trouble to let us know how much He values and loves each one of us!

When we have our dark moments, our lack of faith, our moments of weakness, let us meditate on the resurrection for a few moments and apply it to our situation:

“C’mon! if He rose from the dead He can surely fix my marriage!”

“If He rose from the dead He will lead me out of my impossible debt.”

“If He can beat death, He can show me how to beat my addiction.”

“His resurrection has assured us of life after death. Now I can rest easy knowing that one day I WILL see my deceased loved ones again.”

The resurrection IS Christianity. Lets spend a few moments to meditate on how joyful that is! – and then reflect that joy to those around us!

The strife is over, the battle done,
The victory of life is won,
The sung of triumph has begun: Alleluia! Alleluia!

HAPPY EASTER!

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

“Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Gospel: John 8:1-11

1 While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Gospel Summary

The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who was guilty of adultery. The asked Him what should be done with her? They were in fact trying to trick Jesus into going against the law of Moses by not having the woman stoned or going against the Roman law that did not allow the Jewish people to impose the death sentence. Jesus took His time to answer, and then instructed anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. Of course no-one could do this, and the crowd slowly drifted away. Jesus then tells the woman that He does not condemn her – and that she should go, and not sin again.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How would you feel if you were the adulterous woman’s husband? Or the wife of the man she committed adultery with? Pretty angry right?! There are plenty of words we can use to describe this woman – home wrecker, whore, dirty, cheap, the list goes on. And quite right – adultery destroys marriages and families. So why did Jesus seemingly let her get away with it? There are three reasons here: firstly, Jesus was making the point that as human beings, we do not have the moral authority to condemn one another. We are all sinners, and all in need of God’s forgiveness. Secondly, he was revealing the very essence of Good News – that Gods love and mercy are greater than our sins. And thirdly, He was drawing attention to the fact that this woman was not just a sinner but a person.

In some ways, my own judgemental reaction to this woman reminds me of the elder brother’s reaction in the prodigal son – “How can God love this sinner as much as He loves me?” At the end of the day we have to face our own reaction for what it is: jealous, self-righteous moral snobbery (ouch!). This story is a true lesson in humility for us!

How do we react to our fellow sinners? The drug addict, the prostitute, the divorced and re-married, the homosexual, the atheist, the young woman who had an abortion? Do we see the person, or just the sin? Do we take into account that there are circumstances and a complex history for this person that has led them to where they are? Or do we stand there holding our stone, ready to throw it?

Judgment day will come, and justice will be served – but that is God’s job, not ours.

  • Each one of us is created in the image and likeness of God.
  • Do I realise my own dignity?
  • Do I realise the dignity of others?

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

 – St. Francis of Assisi

* GOD BLESS OUR NEW POPE FRANCIS! *

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POPE FRANCIS  TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS Pope Francis I In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic). As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients. True disciple of Christ!!! To be more precise True Vicar of Christ!!!