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FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
 
Acts 13:44-52
Rev. 21:1-5
John 13:31-35*
Psalm 148
 
Of all the holidays we celebrate, Valentine's Day is most likely to inspire thought of love, but today's gospel links love to the mystery of Easter. Jesus is glorified when He is lifted up on the cross. Out of love he offers His very self for the life of the world. His death and resurrection make all things new.
 
As Jesus has loved us, we are commanded to love one another. The surrounding context for these words is the betrayal and denial of Jesus by two of His closest followers: Judas and Peter. Yet Jesus deeply loved both of these disciples. The newness of this commandment is not in the injunction to love. People of almost every religion and society value love. Our love flows from the example of Jesus who washed the feet of his followers, laid down His life, and revealed the . . .

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
 
Acts 13:44-52
Rev. 21:1-5
John 13:31-35*
Psalm 148
 
Of all the holidays we celebrate, Valentine's Day is most likely to inspire thought of love, but today's gospel links love to the mystery of Easter. Jesus is glorified when He is lifted up on the cross. Out of love he offers His very self for the life of the world. His death and resurrection make all things new.
 
As Jesus has loved us, we are commanded to love one another. The surrounding context for these words is the betrayal and denial of Jesus by two of His closest followers: Judas and Peter. Yet Jesus deeply loved both of these disciples. The newness of this commandment is not in the injunction to love. People of almost every religion and society value love. Our love flows from the example of Jesus who washed the feet of his followers, laid down His life, and revealed the love of God through His suffering on the cross.
 
It warms our heart to speak of love in terms of the devotion we first receive from our mothers or fathers. Most of us first learn divine love though the love of our parents. Yet if Easter is about change and transformation, then even our human love can be made new by the risen life of Jesus. God give us grace to love our enemies, those who differ from us or disagree with us, and those whom we find most difficult to love or understand.
 
To embrace our baptismal call means to follow Jesus by laying down our lives for the sake of others. Easter breaks into our world today when we, the body of Christ, give ourselves with the self-giving love revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
 
Christian friends, as the communion bread is broken and the wine is poured today, we are called to offer our time, ourselves and our possessions in service to the world. Like the love of Christ, or lives are broken and poured out for the sake of others.
 
Unfailing is Christ's matchless love
So kind, so pure, so true;
And those who come to know that love
Show love in all they do.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Christianity is not just Christ in you, but Christ living His life through you. 

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