Sixth Sunday of Easter

As we look at today’s Gospel, we notice that our Lord’s words come as a climax to an impassioned plea about love.  He uses the word “love” no less than eight times in sixteen lines of His speech.  Nowhere else in the gospels does the theme of love dominate a text so strongly.

Since Jesus is about to die, His words on love become His legacy to us—a legacy He would act out by laying down His life for us literally on the cross and sacramentally in the Eucharist.  Moreover, it is a legacy that leads us to do the same thing—to make love our supreme value and to lay down our lives for one another.

Laying down one’s life in love may sometimes involve real death.  However, more often it means a lot of little laying downs of our selfishness for the good of someone else, especially when we are not in the mood.

These laying downs might take the form of giving up some television time to call someone just to be friendly, or going out of our way to visit someone just to be friendly, or going out of our way to visit someone who is sick, or writing a note of sympathy to someone who is grieving.

We lay down our lives whenever we leave aside our comfort to welcome a guest, or lend a helping hand to a neighbor, or volunteer our services at a parish activity.

There is no greater love we can show to our family or friends than to give something personally, or to set aside something that is very much a part of our life.

Jesus lives in our love because He laid down His life on the cross for our salvation.  What kind of legacy will we leave behind us?  Is there any cause or any person for whom we are laying down our lives in selfless service and sacrifices?

God Bless

Msgr. Powell