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Gospel reflection

May 5, 2024: Sixth Sunday of Easter

Gospel: John 15: 9-17

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love 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 joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”


From the Old Testament we have the list of dos and don’ts that have been the primary rules “God fearing” people have lived by for ages but here in this selection from John’s gospel Jesus doesn’t give us a checklist of rules but a seemingly simple command to love one another.

Easy on the surface but not actually. Jesus doesn’t tell us to love everyone that we like. There is no opening or crack in the command that we can slip through. We are to love without exception. He tells us that if we do this we will remain in his love and remain in the Father’s love as well. What a reward! He tells us this so that our joy may be complete.

Even with this wonderful reward, the command is not an easy one to follow. Loving one another means doing nothing that in anyway hurts another in word, thought or action. It is not easy. We all know that not everyone is easy to love, including ourselves.

We are to practice unconditional love for all not by following a check list of dos and don’ts. Rather we must each determine how to practice total love.


How do we fulfill this commandment/challenge from Jesus? It really isn’t difficult. It may require a change of attitude on the part of each of us. But love is practiced in acts of charity and kindness. Sometimes by simply having patience.

Don’t drive aggressively, hold a door for someone, step aside to let another get ahead, return a shopping cart for someone who has unloaded groceries into their car. Be more aware of those you know. Is someone overburdened by the stresses or obligations of their daily lives.

Offer to do something such as pick up groceries for them the next time you shop. It may free an hour for them from their otherwise packed day.

Consider how you can practice all kinds of charity and kindness in your life. It will make you feel good which is part of the joy Jesus has promised.

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Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker was taught by the Sisters of Providence at St. Polycarp School in Somerville, MA. A Providence Associate since 2010, Lorraine has served on the Congregation Peace with Justice Committee (currently Justice Coordinating Commission). A retired Naval Officer, Lorraine lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state where she is active in her parish, St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, and in the local fiber art community.

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