Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus’ message of mercy is also our mission
Based on Acts 14:21-27; Rev 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
“I love it!” How often we use the word “love” when we talk: “I love hamburgers;” “I love playing baseball or soccer;” “I love my new bike.”
What we really mean is, “I like hamburgers and enjoy eating them;” I like and enjoy playing baseball or soccer;” I like riding my new bike.” When we say, “I love …” we often mean it’s something which satisfies us and gives us pleasure.
While we celebrate the Easter Season, this Sunday’s Gospel deals with the Last Supper. Jesus and his disciples are in the upper room to celebrate the Jewish Passover. After Judas leaves the room, Jesus tells them he will be leaving them soon. He knows the time has come for his death on the cross, his Resurrection and his return to his Father in heaven.
Jesus says to his disciples, “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.”
What is “new” about this commandment is how Jesus showed his unselfish love for others while on earth. Growing up in Nazareth, he was obedient and helpful to Mary and Joseph.
When teaching, Jesus showed his love for others by performing miracles such as changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana, healing the lepers, healing the blind and disabled, feeding the 5,000 people and raising a young girl from the dead. Jesus’ love helped people to accept God in their lives.
Jesus’ topmost gift of total, unselfish love was his suffering and death on the cross and his Resurrection so we can share eternal life in heaven with him.
You can show Jesus’ love by obeying your parents, be being kind to others, by forgiving others when they hurt you, by helping others, by being cheerful and thoughtful to someone who is sad, lonely or sick, and by saying “I’m sorry” when you hurt someone.
Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard to love others. By our faith in Jesus and by unselfishly trying to love others as Jesus loved, we, too, can help people to know God.
Then, we are doing what Jesus commanded, and “People will know we are Christians by our love!”