On Sunday, the sixth Sunday of Easter there are two alternatives for the Second reading,m both from the First Letter of St John. The first alternative is given below, and the second alternative is at the end of this posting.
My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
1 John 4:7-10
This first of the texts explores something of the teaching of John that God is love, and that we are called to live the life of God.
Therein lies the challenge of course: that we are to live the life of God. John does not hold back on the challenge – if we fail to love we can never have known God.
But our hope is precisely in that the love that animates is not our love but God’s. It may seem doubtful sometimes that we have known God. But God has and does and will know us. In this is our hope, and our opportunity. Each day we have the opportunity to begin to love again with him.
- In quiet trust bring your challenges and failings in love to the Lord in prayer.
Photograph of mosaic in the Cathedral, Marseille, France. (c) 2004, Allen Morris.
The alternative Second reading:
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him
and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son
as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in
God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love
and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.
1 John 4:11-16