John 15:1-8 I am the true vine and my father is the vine grower and you are the branches
May 1, 2021
Mark 16: 15-20 Ascension Sunday
May 15, 2021

John 15:9-17 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.

6th Sunday of Easter
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
1 John 4:7-10
John 15:9-17

A. Text/Context
• The gospel today is a part of the farewell discourse of Jesus to his disciples
• Jesus will soon leave them that is why next Sunday we will be celebrating the ascension of our Lord
• So Jesus has to give very important reminders to the disciples who will soon be left behind
• And it is not just any reminder it is a commandment and what did he say in the gospel today? Jesus said to his disciples: Love one another
• We must remember that the 2 great commandments that Jesus has taught us can only be summarized as the commandment of love
• Love God above all things and love your neighbor as you love yourself
• What would have happened if Jesus is already gone and the disciples do not love each other?
• Perhaps the Church will never be built because they will just be jealous with one another

B. Human Situation
• In relation to the commandment of love, we now talk about the 10 commandments. What are they …
• The first 3 is reserved for the love of God and the last 7 is reserved for the love of neighbor
• Now the summary of the 10 commandments or the Decalogue is: Love God above all things and love your neighbor as you love yourself
• So we now have a love triangle: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self and they cannot be separated from one another
• How do we express our love of God?
• Certainly we are here to celebrate the Sunday Mass. Attending the Eucharist is an expression of our love for God. This is commandment no. 3. Thou shall keep Sunday holy
• The whole celebration of the Eucharist is a holy ritual of cleansing, glorifying, listening to his words, professing our faith, praying, offering, sanctifying, consecrating, adoring, praying for ourselves and others, greetings for others, receiving God, thanking God, receiving a blessing etc. etc.
• You can only imagine how much you are going to miss if you do not attend a Sunday mass
• Are you going to exchange all these graces by simply lying in your bed the whole day because you are tired, because you have a backbreaking job for the last 6 days of work? That would be unthinkable
• If you do not like the homily of the priest, forget it, the Eucharist is more than that
• The Eucharist is such an awesome expression of our love for God so it will now appear that it is not only for God, because we also pray for others, for the world, we pray for the Church, we pray for the many different intentions for our personal life and the community in general, the intentions of the Eucharist is simply for everyone
• Just loving God through the Eucharist is already complete in its own self
• Now we talk about love of neighbor. Who is our neighbor? They are all the people outside of your own self
• In the 10 commandments, love of neighbor begins in commandment no. 4. Honor thy father and thy mother
• They are our neighbors: our wives and husbands, our children, our co-workers, our colleagues in the workplace. The residents next to our home, the drivers, the helpers, the gardeners, the politicians, entertainers and celebrities. All people in the nation
• All the people of the world, they are our neighbors. Even the hoodlums and convicts of the underworld they are our neighbors
• How do we love our neighbors? You do not kill, do not steal, do not be lustful, do not fornicate if you are single, do not be adulterous if you are married
• Do not be envious of the wealth of your friend, do not be jealous of the handsome and the beautiful
• But if you pick up the phone and start talking false about an innocent friend, you do not love your neighbor anymore because you ruin the reputation of others
• If you love somebody you will not hurt the person. How can you kill if you love? You will only have to preserve life
• How can you cheat if you love? You will only choose fidelity until the last breath of your life
• Now we talk about the love of self. The love of self here is of course in relation to our love of God and love of neighbor
• You do not want to hurt yourself because it’s painful. And you do not want others to hurt you because it’s painful. And you understand that if you hurt others they will feel the pain
• And so we revert to the golden rule. Do not do to others what you do not want others to do unto you. Our love of self must be in harmony with our love of neighbor
• You will eat and be satisfied because you also want your neighbor to eat and be satisfied. You have concern for the plight of others
• But if, you want to get rich by exploiting your neighbor, your love of self goes off track. You have become selfish, you have become narcissistic and self centered
• The love of self is never intended to the detriment and wretchedness of others
• The loving of the self here means the recognition that you are loved by God, and so you put dignity and respect on your self
• That we are created according to the image and likeness of God and therefore we raise our self esteem, our self confidence, our value as a human being, remaining proud and dignified even in the midst of all the failures in life
• That our own self as a person is a gift from God so singular and unique that not even one person in this planet is the same as you
• My brothers and sisters, if we will recognize the giftedness of our own selves we will never allow anything to ruin our lives
• Why do people commit suicide? Because they no longer see light in the darkness, there is not a single ray of love that they can see and they even forget that the very life that they take is not even their own
• How can you take your own life when you will always feel that there are others who love you

C. Challenge
• God has taught us the greatest commandment of all: the commandment of love: love one another
• Jesus has given us the example that no one has greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. Indeed, he gave his life by dying on the cross
• And the disciples did what Jesus had told them, dying for the church, dying for their mission, dying for their preaching ministry all done because of love
• The challenge for us today is doing the same what Jesus had commanded his disciples in loving one another and dying for one another
• Rather, we are challenged to spend our own life in loving others, loving our work, loving our duties and obligations
• Wherever we are, we are challenged to love one another according to the duties and responsibilities given to us
• And in doing the commandment of loving, bear in mind that we cannot be perfect in doing so. There will be glitches along the way
• Do not be disheartened with imperfections. It is all part and parcel of the whole process of loving God and loving our neighbors
• We must remember some truth about love today: That there is also pain in loving as Jesus has experienced terrible pain in loving the whole of humanity
• But we also remember just the same, that in our imperfections of love, God will help us to make it perfect

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John 15 verse 9-17

John 15 verse 9-17

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