Reflections

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, MAY 9, 2021

NEW COMMANDMENT—LOVE WITHOUT BOUNDARIES
Greeting (cf. Second Reading)
Love comes from God
and everyone who loves
is born from God and knows God.
May Jesus, the Son of God,
who made God’s love known to us,
be always with you. R/ And with your spirit.
 
Introduction
We are again reminded today that the heart of Christianity is love: love of God, love of one another. Jesus tells us that we have to love one another as he has loved us. This is a very demanding love, for it commits us to love not only those we like and who love us or like-minded fellow Christians, but also the difficult ones, the “unlovable,” people far from perfect, outsiders… That is not so easy, and this is probably why he calls it a commandment. Let us ask our Lord in this Eucharist that we may grow in this openness of genuine love.
 
Penitential Act
We are still far from loving people
the way Jesus wants us to love them.
We ask the Lord and one another to forgive us.
(pause)
 
Lord Jesus, you have loved us
as the Father has loved you.
Keep us in your love:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
Jesus Christ, the way you have loved us
is that you laid down your life for us.
Make us live for one another:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
 
Lord Jesus, you loved the weak,
sinners, those hard to love.
Open our love and make it like yours:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
In your goodness forgive us, Lord,
and make committed love
the characteristic of us, your people.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
 
Opening Prayer
Let us ask the Father
that we may put no boundaries to our love
(pause)
 
God, love is your name
and you have revealed all its depth
when you sent your only Son into the world
and let him be the sacrifice that took our sins away.
Through Jesus, who calls us his friends,
make our love as strong as life and death,
let it always have the last word in us
and be given for free, like yours.
May we always remain in your love
and love one another
as Jesus has loved us,
he who is our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
 
First Reading: God’s Love Open to All
God’s sign to Peter and the Church that believers from paganism are accepted and loved by God is that the Holy Spirit comes down on pagans too.
 
1 Reading: ACTS 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage. Peter, however, raised him up, saying, “Get up. I myself am also a human being.” Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” While Peter was still speaking these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?” He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
R. (cf. 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or: Alleluia.
 
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm. R.
 
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel. R.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise. R.
 
Second Reading: God Loves Us; So, We Love One Another
God loves us so much that his love took a human form in Jesus Christ. Since that time our love for one another is the sign of God’s love and of his presence among us.
 
2 Reading: 1 JOHN 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
 
Alleluia: JOHN 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel: Love One Another As I Have Loved You
Jesus loves us and wants us to stay in his love and joy by keeping his commandments of loving one another.
 
Gospel: JOHN 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
 
Commentary
Today’s reading we already saw during the week: on Thursday and Friday. Because of this, our commentary will be only a poem:
Ask not of me, love, what is love?
Ask ‘what is good?’ of God above –
Ask of the great sun ‘what is light?’ –
Ask ‘what is darkness?’ of the night –
Ask sin of what may be forgiven –
Ask ‘what is happiness?’ of heaven –
Ask ‘what is folly?’ of the crowd –
Ask ‘what is fashion?’ of the shroud –
Ask ‘what is sweetness?’ of thy kiss –
Ask of thyself what beauty is.
(P.J. Bailey)
“Ask not of me, love, what is love.” Ask love. In today’s second reading, St John says, “God is love.”
 
Intercessions
Since Jesus is our friend, we can commend to him all those we love and the needs of all those whom we should learn to love. Let us say:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Lord Jesus, let there be love and friendship and trust in the community of your Church between its leaders and the faithful, we ask you, Lord:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Lord Jesus, let there be love and friendship among all the people and the churches that claim that you are their Lord and shepherd; may they become really one in you, we pray you, Lord:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Lord Jesus, let love and friendship reign in all our communities of religious, that they may be good witnesses to your love, we pray you, Lord:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Lord Jesus, let love and friendship reign in all our Christian families, that parents and children may be living cells from which understanding and love may grow in our world, we pray you, Lord:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Lord, let there be love and friendship among us that opens our eyes and hands and hearts to the needs and the persons of the sick and the lonely, of the poor and the victims of injustice, we pray, you Lord: R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
– Let there be love and friendship in all our Christian communities, that people may come to believe in you when they see how we love one another, we pray you, Lord:
R/ Lord, give us the gift of love.
Jesus, our friend, let us remain in your love and warm one another with it, for you are our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, loving Father,
your love appeared with a human face
in your Son Jesus Christ.
He showed all the depth of your love and his
by laying down his life for us, his friends.
As he gives himself to us
as the bread of life,
may he be our food
on the road of life and love,
not only when it is easy to love
but also when it is hard to be faithful
and when love demands much sacrifice.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
 
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Let us raise our hearts and voices to our loving Father in heaven for having loved us before we could love him. With Jesus, God’s sign of love to us, let us offer the Father our desire and will to let his love overflow on everyone.
 
Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
With Jesus, our brother,
let us pray together to our Father in heaven
who loves us with so great a love
as to give us his own Son: R/ Our Father…
 
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord from all forms of selfishness
that close us to our people.
Keep us free from all sins
that endanger love among us
and grant us the peace of unity.
Make us attentive and open to all,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ: R/ For the kingdom...
 
At the Sign of Peace
Let the sign of peace today be the expression of our genuine love for one another, and may it be followed by many signs and tokens of love in the life of every day.
The peace of the Lord be with you always. R/ And with your spirit.
 
Invitation to Communion
This is our Lord who said:
‘‘Love one another
as I have loved you.”
Happy are we to be invited
to the Lord’s table of love and unity. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…
 
Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
in this Eucharistic celebration
you have given us new proof of your love
by giving us your Son and his Spirit.
Jesus has strengthened our love.
Accept our thanks
and bring out the best in us,
that we may bear rich fruit
of faithful, reliable love.
Let your Holy Spirit unite us
to build community with one another
and to live in your love and joy
now and for ever. R/ Amen.
 
Blessing
We know that God loves us
and wants to live among us.
He calls us his friends, his chosen ones.
Let us respond to his love without measure.
We are sure that we love God
and that he is present among us
when we love one another.
May God give us the strength to do so,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
 
Go in peace, live in the Lord’s love, and serve him in people.
R/ Thanks be to God.

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