The Gospel Today
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniquito):
The theme song of World Youth Day 1995 here in the Philippines rings my mind as I begin to sing, “For God so love the world, He gave us His only Son. Jesus Christ our Savior, His most precious One” then it follows “Let us tell the world of His love, the greatest love the world has known…”
That song touched my heart after I read the Gospel. I remembered that during my childhood, I joined the Knights of the Altar and the Youth Ministry in our parish. In our young age, we were encouraged by our parish priest to spread the good news and the love of God to our town, especially to our fellow youth. During that time, we went to the small communities (Basic Ecclesial Community) in our parish. We conducted catechism and encouraged our fellow youth to join us in serving in parish.
In the Gospel, I can also be a good witness of the love of God on a daily basis. It is in the way I live my life and the way I relate myself to others. We are challenged by God to love our neighbor as God loved us. We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot give love if we have not received love. However, it is impossible that we have not received love, because God himself loved us first. But where is the love of God during World War I? Where is the love in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland (where a lot of Jewish people died because of the Nazis)? Where is the love of God in the different calamities and crimes that happened in our country?
God permitted evil things to happen so as to bring about greater good. With all the evil things that happened and is happening to us, God is challenging us to love one another. God is love. God implanted His love in our hearts; it is now up to us. Are we going to keep the love of God just for ourselves or will we cultivate it and offer it to other people? As the song says, “Tell the world, tell the world of His love…,” as God has commanded us to love one another.