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Scripture Reflections - May 15
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 14:21-27
Revelation 21:1-6A
John 13:31-33a, 34-35

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

This Fifth Sunday of Easter focuses on love – Christ’s love for us, the love among the apostles in response to Christ’s command that they love one another as He loved them, and finally the love found in the New Jerusalem, as the final flowering of love at the end of time.

Today’s Gospel is part of the Farewell address of Jesus at the Last Supper. He speaks movingly of the glory they will all share with Him if they imitate His love.

“I will give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples.”

The first reading today gives us a glimpse of that love in action in the preaching of the Apostles. When Paul and Barnabas are anointed to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, their love for the Lord and each other is very visible to all who listened to them. And when Paul and Barnabas came to Lystra where he had been previously stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead, only love and zeal for the Gospel could have given him the courage. How moved the new converts were when they observed his love for the very people who had tried to kill him!

The power of love gave them strength to endure much suffering for the sake of the Gospel. We see that same love in many of our missionary priests, nuns, and lay persons. The ability to endure imprisonment, torture, and extreme physical conditions comes from that same love for the Gospel and the people to whom they have been sent. We, too, must ask ourselves how much we are willing to give of ourselves in witness to the Gospel.

May all the fear, division, and violence of the Covid, politics, and in the nations be overcome by God’s love working in us and through us.

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