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Gospel reflection

April 24, 2016: Fifth Sunday of Easter

Sister Dorothy receives a donation of a child's bed from a helpful family.

(Photo: Sister Dorothy receives a donation of a child’s bed from a helpful family.)

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. 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.”
(John 13:31-33a, 34-35)


Today’s Gospel reading is from the words of Jesus at the Last Supper. This is the new commandment he gives in the last hours with his disciples: Love one another as I have loved you. And in case they don’t understand what this means, he has just finished washing their feet.

How will everyone know that we are disciples of Jesus? How will they (and we) know that we are followers of Christ? Jesus says the answer is simple: because we love one another. We care for one another. And not just family, but also neighbors and strangers and even enemies. So who is my neighbor? Jesus told us the story of the good Samaritan to answer that question: anyone in need, anyone is neighbor who has a claim on my concern, love, prayer.


I reflect on these final instructions of Jesus. I ask for help to understand and apply them in my life today. How am I called to love “one another”— near and far, family and people I’ve never met? How can love, mercy and compassion grow in my life? I will perform some random acts of love and kindness this week. The Spirit that Jesus has given us will show the way.

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Alice Quinlan

Alice Quinlan is a retired educator who lives in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village and volunteers at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

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