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

We are asked to give ourselves entirely to God. And in whatever ways we come to know this, the thought alone can be difficult to live up to.

Today’s Gospel reminds us that we are the chosen ones. We have chosen God, yes, but it is he who has chosen us, that we may become his children.

He tells us to remain in his love. Again, a difficult commandment to live up to. How do we do this? We do it by again following his words and loving one another. It is excruciatingly difficult to do this on the level God wants us to love. You see, loving those who love us is something anyone can do. We are being asked to love those who persecute us, to love those who hate us. Make no mistake: this is what sets us apart from others. And, because Christ gave this to us as his only commandment, we know two things: 1. that it possible to attain even if difficult, and 2. that it should be at the forefront of all of our life, all of the time.

We expend a great deal of energy on disliking people. We use excuses to dislike people just in the same way as Christ used excuses to forgive and love people.

Yet, just as Christ forgave us, the people who persecuted him, and calls us friends, so we are asked by by Jesus to call friends those whom we don’t always like. The street beggars, the people who have a different religion or a different skin colour or spoken language or culture, even those who have different ideas to ours.

Much of the media – which is nowadays the shop frontage of life – tells us to seek blame. Any news story is first and foremost an exercise in blame. Yet, this is not the Christian way, not at all.

The world is suffering from a dearth of joy. Yet Christ tells us this:

‘I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.’

This is our vocation, then, that our joy may be complete by loving him, by allowing him to love us through everyone around us. Let us with our whole hearts enter into Christ’s single commandment to love one another, and ask the Holy Spirit who convinces us of the meaning and the value if the Christian way, to lead us to fullness in him. Amen.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John     15:9-17
Glory to you, O Lord
A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

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.