Saturday, April 23, 2016

5th Sunday of Eastertide, Year C

Today's Gospel recounts some of Jesus's words at the Last Supper. I give you a new commandment, he says, 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.

How moving and how challenging this commandment is! St. Cyril of Alexandria comments:
Christ commands us to love as he did, putting neither reputation, nor wealth, not anything whatever before love of our brothers and sisters. If need be we must even be prepared to face death for our neighbor's salvation as did our Savior's blessed disciples and those who followed in their footsteps. To them the salvation of others mattered more than their own lives and they were ready to do anything or to suffer anything to save souls that were perishing. I die daily, said Paul. Who suffers weakness without my suffering too? Who is made to stumble without my heart blazing with indignation?
The Savior urged us to practice this love that transcends the law as the foundation of true devotion to God. He knew that only in this way could we become pleasing in God's eyes, and that it was by seeking the beauty of the love implanted in us by himself that we should attain to the highest blessings.

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