The Gospel readings on Sunday, the 5th Sunday of Easter, comes from the Gospel of John.
And in the Gospel Jesus gives us his commandment: a commandment that does not replace the first and second commandments, to love God and to love neighbour, but brings a new dimension to it. The disciple of Jesus must love God, neighbour, and the other disciples!
When Judas had gone Jesus said:
‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
‘My little children,
I shall not be with you much longer.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another;
just as I have loved you,
you also must love one another.
By this love you have for one another,
everyone will know that you are my disciples.’
God sometimes feels distant and even abstract. No real difficult in loving God
And lots of neighbours are distant too: little difficult in feelings of general warmth to them.
But the other disciples: they are often all too close and all too awkward, challenging, different to us. How can we love them? And yet, says Jesus, we must. Not so much for our sake, or theirs, but for the sake of the world, of everyone else. So that they will know we are disciples.
- Do you pass the test?
- What helps?
- What hinders?
- What’s next?
Font. French Church, Leicester Sq, London. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.