Gospel Reflection – 6th Sunday of Easter – Cycle B – John 15:9-17         

It is a beautiful yet daunting prospect to be God’s chosen ones. How do we quantify the enormity of this truth?
The answer is love. Because, in the arena of love, much is possible that was not before.
That he calls us friends, that he chose us, that we are loved by him: at some point we must understand that we cannot fathom these truths. Perhaps we should not, even. But, if there is one response that we need to make, it is to love, to love as he loves.
To remain in God’s love is an extraordinarily difficult task. It can feel as though our human nature pushes against the desire to love, by constantly reintroducing division and angst, selfishness and pride.
We want to love, but we seem to be unable.
Let us remember that, whilst Jesus is fully divine, he is also fully human. He will know these emotions just as we do. If, in our quest to remain in God’s love (or rather, when), we fall, then sometimes we can do nothing more than make our offering of failure to him. As the Shepherd so wisely said in Rosetti’s carol: ‘What can I give him? …Give my heart.’
Love can do extraordinary things. Whilst we haven’t the power to restore ourselves to grace, God does have that power. And, as those chosen by him, it is not only in his power to help us, but he is waiting to do so. He is even looking for excuses to develop us closer into his communion. Think, for example, of Christ on the Cross who said, ‘forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing.’ He seeks excuses to forgive us.
God, in his greatness, in his unfathomable kindness and love, waits for us to make the commitment to love him back. Shall we fail? Yes, at some stage along the way. We will. But, once we stop using these as the bookmarks in our journey, falling and losing hope, but instead start to see that God is truly in love with us, then we shall live closer to his message, closer in his love.


The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 15:9-17
Glory to you, O Lord

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more, because a servant does not know his master’s business;
I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you is to love one another.’

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.