Message of the Week

I Am in My Father and You Are In Me and I Am In You

Sixth Sunday Easter

Part of the first reading from Acts that we don’t hear is a vision Peter has, in which God tells him that all foods are OK to eat; no longer are some unclean.  He later realizes that the vision was a symbol that all people are “clean,” Gentiles as well as Jews.  Not all of the early Christians understood.  The Jewish Christians were shocked that the Holy Spirit would give gifts, such as speaking in tongues, to Gentiles.  Especially Gentiles who had not been baptized.

Now the distinction between Gentile and Jewish Christians doesn’t seem very important today.  But we still need to follow St. Peter’s example of sharing our faith in Jesus.  Does that mean we should drag any non-believers we meet to church on Sunday?  Should we brag about how much we love God?

Today’s gospel gives us a hint at what we can do to bring others to Christ.  Jesus makes it sound simple: Love one another as I love you. (Jn 15:12)  The second reading from John tells us that love is not people loving God; it’s that God loved us first, enough to send his Son to die for us.  We may think that we have chosen to love and follow Jesus, but as the gospel tells us, Jesus chose us before we ever chose him.  So maybe that part about loving others as Jesus loves us is this: are we willing to love others without requiring that they love us first?

How can we do that?  I can introduce myself to someone new to the parish that I see in church.  I can offer to help the poor without waiting for the pastor to beg.  I can make a priority of seeing what I can do for others, instead of what they can do for me.  Perhaps part of our daily prayer can be asking God to show us who needs our love today.

Tom Schmidt, Diocesan Publications

Sixth Sunday of Easter | USCCB

Behold, I Am With You Always

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