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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Fifth Sunday of Easter (C)

1st Reading (Acts 14:21b-27): After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, «It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God». They appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Responsorial Psalm: 144
R/. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
Let them make known your might to the children of Adam, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.
2nd Reading (Rev 21:1-5a): Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, «Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away». The One who sat on the throne said, «Behold, I make all things new».
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 13:34): Alleluia. I give you a new commandment, says the Lord: love one another as I have loved you. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 13:31-33a.34-35): When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I 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, if you have love for one another.”

“Love one another”

Fr. Jordi CASTELLET i Sala (Sant Hipòlit de Voltregà, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus invites us to love one another, here also in this complex world that we live in, where good and evil are mingled together. We often feel tempted to look at our world as a misfortune, as a piece of bad news, whereas we Christians, instead, are responsible for bringing out the Good News of Jesus Christ to this violent and unfair world.

Yes, indeed, Jesus tells us: “love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). And, a good way to love one another, to put God's Word into practice, is to announce, always and everywhere, the Good News of the Gospel, which is nothing else but Jesus Christ!

Saint Paul wrote: “But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels” (2Cor 4:7). What treasure is this? That of the Word, that of the very God, and we happen to be its terracotta vessels. Yet, this treasure is too precious for us to keep for ourselves. We have to spread it around: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (...) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:19-20). In fact —as Saint John Paul II wrote— “Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves, they must proclaim him.”

With this confidence in God, we announce the Gospel; let us do it with all our available means and wherever we can: by word of mouth, by our deeds and thoughts, through newspapers, Internet, in our work and with our friends... “Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near” (Phil 4:5).

Saint John Paul II emphasized that we must use the new technologies, openly, without beating around the bush, to spread the Good News of the Church as much as possible today, because only if our kindness is known to all, only by changing our heart, shall we achieve so our world changes too.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “This is the one salvation for our flesh and our soul: showing them [sick, poor] charity” (Saint Gregory Nazianzen)

  • “The essential point is the new foundation of being that is given to us. The newness can come only from the gift of being-with and being-in Christ” (Benedict XVI)

  • “Our Father ‘desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim 2:3-4). He ‘is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish’ (2 Pet 3:9). His commandment is ‘that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another’ (Jn 13:34). This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 2822)