John 13, 31-33a.34-35:
Sunday, 15th May 2022 (5 Easter C)
Even though it is Eastertime, and well advanced, this week’s Gospel according to John places us in the atmosphere of the farewell of Jesus and his disciples. At a moment during the Last Supper, when Judas, the betrayer, has already left the upper room. Jesus feels that his hour has come, the hour to glorify the Father, to do his will, to give himself totally, and he turns to his friends in a moment of deep intimacy. He gives them his last recommendations. He entrusts himself to his own, opens his heart to them and says: “By this they will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another”.
In the Old Testament, in the Law of Moses, it was commanded to love your neighbour as yourself. But Jesus, well aware of the human heart and its fragility, seems to sense that love for oneself can have a component of selfishness, that there are people who have not understood well what it means to love others as oneself, because they understand it from their own convenience, from their own tastes or interests, from what I think is best for me… Even this love for oneself can leave much to be desired by not taking care of one’s own body or even mistreating it with inappropriate behaviour.
The love that Jesus wants us to live is different. He tells us: “love one another as I have loved you”. Without selfish reservations, with total self-giving, even to the point of death on a cross. A love that is self-giving. “By this they will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another as I have loved you”. Only by having these same feelings of Jesus, can we make the words of the Apocalypse (second reading) come true: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away”. This is the new life that awaits those who strive to follow the Risen One.
Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf
Do you really love as He loves you?