Submitted by Jan on Tue, 19/04/2016 – 09:11
5th Sunday of Easter
Year C (2015-2016)
Bible Book: John
Verse: 31 – 35
The heart of the Christian message is epitomized in these straightforward words of Jesus: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)
So clear—so uncomplicated—so fundamental to the faith—yet how we struggle to be loving persons. Jesus doesn’t make any exceptions. He doesn’t provide room for excuses why we can love some people and reject others. He doesn’t say we can discriminate or stigmatize persons because of their HIV status, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or any other reason. He just says “love one another.”
The failure to love is a shortcoming that all of us experience. Sometimes we are the recipients of indifference or hatred or mistreatment. Other times we are less than loving in the ways we relate to others. Of course, it is easier to recognize the failures of others than to acknowledge our own faults. But the challenge of life is to ask for God’s help and help us to live up to the faith and values we profess.
Earlier this year I prayed at the crypt of Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, and recalled how she reached out to the sick, the stigmatized, and the impoverished. Let us be challenged anew by her words that “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
To think about: Why is it so easy to judge and so hard to love?
Written by: Donald E. Messer, Executive Director, Center for Health and Hope: Focusing on Global HIV and AIDS, Centennial, Colorado, USA
Author: Messer, DE (Dr)