Fifth Sunday of Easter

Theme: Resurrected Christ, Commands Us To Love One Another

First Reading: Acts 13: 44-52

Psalm Reading: Psalm 145

Second Reading: Revelation 21: 1-6

Gospel Reading: John 13:3 1-35

Homily by Fr. Erel Villanueva

Jesus in Chapter 13 is giving His last instructions to His disciples for He knows that the time has come for His departure though death on the cross. He had talked about His betrayal, He had washed their feet (symbol of servanthood) and instituted the Last Supper (Eucharist). He had stressed that His death would give glory to the Father for the Father would glorify Him in His sacrificial death in obedience to His father’s will.
He had given them a new commandment to love another. Not disregarding the old love commandment to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, but bringing it to a higher level. To love one another not the way they love themselves but love one another the way Jesus loves them. This will be the barometer. If they can’t love one another as disciples, how they can love other people outside the church?
What type of love does the Lord Jesus show to His disciples?
1. Forgiving Love. In this chapter, Jesus knows His death in the cross is near. He knows Judas will betray Him, Peter will deny Him, and most of them will abandon Him. But He still extended His love to them by forgiving them even before they had committed the sin. He washed their feet and ate together with them in the Last Supper. He even restored them after His resurrection to their original calling and never changed His plans for them. What a love!
2.Serving Love. Washing their feet was an act of humble service. It take humility to serve and help one another. This kind of attitude will eliminate comparison and competition which causes friction and disunity among them. Instead, it will promote a healthy relationship and working environment.
3. Sacrificial Love. Are we willing to lay down our lives to others as He did? This is about thinking of what is good to others before self, ready to give way and relinquish his right for the sake of others.
If they carry out this commandment to love one another the way He instructed them, then all men will know that they are truly His disciples. Our love for one another is the evidence that Christ is in us, not because we carry Bibles or we have crucifix necklaces. It is a living demonstration of the life of God and life with in the kingdom of God.
By Fr. Erel Villanueva

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