Sunday Gospel reflection: Know and give the love of Christ

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B

"Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles" by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319). Photo: Public Domain

At first hearing, Jesus’ command to his friends sounds too easy to be true. His command is to love. But this is easier said than done, more complicated than the list-specific “shalts” and “shalt nots” of the Ten Commandments.

If we try to learn love from watching television and movies, love is easy. Simply take pleasure in someone and, when the warm feelings fade, walk away. If we learn love from watching and listening to Jesus in the Gospels, our task is much harder.

Jesus’ love is total giving — life-giving, giving to the one being loved. This love gives joy to others without regard for our own feelings. But even more deeply, it is a giving of our self. This is the beginning of laying down one’s life for another.

But if we are to give such love, we must first know love. We must begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for us, for every part of us. In the Sunday liturgy we gather precisely to learn, remember, and celebrate this love, and in celebrating we come to know it in the depth of our being.

Today, while basking in God’s abundant love, let us focus on the sign of peace. Forget the timid wave — grasp a hand. Make eye contact. Look into the yearnings within the other person. It is there that the love and peace of Christ will truly find a home.

— Margaret Bick


Acts 10:25–26, 34–35, 44–48

Psalm 98:1, 2–3, 3–4

1 John 4:7–10

John 15:9–17

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