VI Sunday of Easter Year B

Posté par diaconos le 5 mai 2021

There is no greater love than giving your life for those you love

Frasi belle sulla vita

La vita è un mistero da vivere, non un problema da risolvere

# On 11 July 2017, Pope Francis introduced the offering of life as one of the cases in the process of beatification and canonisation. The motu proprio takes its title from the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel according to St John: « there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for those one loves » (Jn 15:13). Certainly, the heroic offering of one’s life, prompted and sustained by charity, expresses a true, full and exemplary imitation of Christ, and for this reason it deserves the admiration that the community of the faithful is accustomed to reserve for those who have voluntarily accepted the martyrdom of blood or have exercised the Christian virtues on a heroic level.

Maiorem hac dilectionem (Latin for « [There is] no greater love ») is an apostolic letter in the form of a motu proprio issued on 11 July 2017 by Pope Francis. It introduces the « offering of life » as one of the cases in the procedure of beatification and canonization. It concerns Christians who « have voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered in this intention until death ».

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From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John

09 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 This I have said to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for those who love him.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master does; I call you friends, because everything I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and made you responsible, so that you may go and bear fruit and your fruit may remain. Then whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 17 This I command you: love one another. »  (Jn 15, 9-17)

God is love

« God is love.  » These three little words reveal to us the true nature of God. God is love, first of all within his own divine nature composed of three persons who never cease to communicate with each other, who do nothing but love each other. God created us in his own image and likeness. We are beings made to love and to be loved. The tragedy is precisely when this love is lacking, when it is poorly given or poorly received. The media are full of these love stories that begin badly or end badly…

Jesus left us, as a testament, two great affirmations : « As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you and Love one another as I have loved you ». What an immense truth! What enormous happiness ! That is why Jesus can say to his disciples : « Love one another », Love one another with that love which you receive from the Father and which I have shown you by my words, my actions and my whole life, including my death and resurrection.

How to love each other ?

In this area, there are no ready-made recipes. The Gospels show us the Lord’s love for mankind: his love is universal, that is, it is offered to everyone without any exclusion. When we truly love and when we know that we are loved, we grow and the other person feels settled in life. It is up to us to do the same !

Let us see how love comes down from God : the Father loves Jesus, Jesus loves us and we, at his request (Gospel), echoed by John (Second Reading), try to love one another. We try to do it in God’s way, as God himself and his Son have done with us. This means loving one another abundantly, as Jesus did, even to the point of giving one’s life if necessary.

To love to the point of giving one’s life. « This is my body given, my blood shed; do this in memory of me, do this as I do! «   The measure of love is to give without measure. Love one another…. . Who am I to love ? For whom am I responsible? Who expects something from me? What is my attitude towards those around me, my family, my colleagues at work ?

The apostle Peter (first reading) was the first to be astonished, together with the Jews who accompanied him, to see that the centurion of the royal army fell to his knees and that even the pagans received the gift of the Spirit in abundance. God gives without meanness, generously, abundantly and invites us to do the same.

We are called, with what we are and where we are, to give, to give ourselves and to forgive… and to start again without ever stopping. May our heart be the measure of God’s heart ! And may our hand, if possible, be the same ! We will never regret having been good and even too good. But we will always regret having closed our hand and our heart when others have opened them to receive from us. « As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you… Love one another as I have loved you ».

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Young catholics : click here to read the paper → 6th Sunday of Easter – Year B (2021)

◊ Pathways to God : click here to read the paper → 6th Sunday of Easter Year B

  6th Sunday of Easter (Year B)

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