5th Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 14:21–27
After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” They appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
2nd Reading: Revelation 21:1–5a
Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Gospel: John 13:31–33a, 34–35
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
WORDS TO REMEMBER: When a person whom we love is about to depart from us, there is always something that he or she leaves behind with us so that it may remind us about him or her. It could be a piece of land, a house, or advice. When Jesus was about to go to his glory, he left for his disciples something which would single them out as his disciples. He left them with a new commandment that they should love one another as he had loved them. Their love for one another will remind them about him, and will also be a sign to other people that they are his disciples. Their love for one another in the footsteps of their master was and is meant to make each one of them to be ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the other. For the disciples to fulfill this new commandment, each one of them had to persevere in faith in Jesus Christ. Without perseverance in the faith it is not easy to fulfill Christ’s new commandment of love. Perseverance in faith helps a person to be a true disciple of Christ. Wavering in the faith brings to question one’s commitment to Christ.
Prayer: May all Christians be truly faithful to you Lord.
LOVE AND DO WHAT YOU WILL: The characteristic of every disciple and community is love. Love is our uniform. Christian identity is not defined by the fulfilment of a collection of precepts, nor by the practice of particular rites and sacrifices. Instead, a Christian community is distinguished by the quality of the relations that exist among its members. Following Jesus goes beyond a mere ritual or a weekly practice; it rather implies deep ties of love among the members of the community. At the same time, true love cannot be confined inside a particular group. When it is lived without limitations, love is a contagious virus which easily spreads towards others. A community, in which love is the norm of life, will witness to Jesus and His Gospel effectively and attract others to the Gospel.