Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter (John 13:31-35) by Sr. Celestina Onyia, SHCJ.
‘‘I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you’’ (Jn 13 34).
Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, to love one another. This was his farewell discourse shortly after he demonstrated this love to his disciples by washing their feet (Jn 13:11).
It appears that Jesus was not pleading with his disciples but giving them a command. This is because he loved them first and expects them to do the same to one another. By this, everyone will know that they are his disciples.
We as new followers of Jesus and daughters of Cornelia have received love of God in our own lives, ‘‘The love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us’’ (Rom 5:5). We are therefore indebted to one another in love. It is our noble responsibility towards one another because to whom much is given, much is expected.
We are also admonished by our Lord Jesus Christ to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us so that we will be children of our heavenly Father who causes his sun to rise and his rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike (Mtt 5:45). Thus, we have no option than to love.
May the love of God which knows no measure, fears no labour, makes sweet all that is bitter and finds rest in God alone be our heritage, our identity in time and in eternity through Christ our Lord. Amen.