Fifth Sunday of Easter | iPray with the Gospel
When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:31-33a, 34-35
The composition of Jesus’ speech is important. The New Commandment was introduced by two facts: One is the departure of Judas; the other is Jesus’ statement: “You will seek me.” This is significant – Jesus said that they will know we are His disciples by the virtue of Love. Judas wasn’t a true disciple. He wasn’t interested in this New Commandment. He loved money, not Jesus or his neighbour.
The second fact is also important: Jesus was announcing His departure as well: “You will seek me”, He said, but “where I am going you cannot come.” ‘Nevertheless’, He could add, ‘there is something that you can do: love one another’. As if saying: Seek me and you will find me… in your neighbor. Jesus is in Heaven. We will find ourselves in Heaven with Him if we love one another.
And the measure of that love is also given: “as I have loved you”, said Jesus. When we love others as Jesus loves them, then we are ‘another Jesus’ to them and they are ‘a Jesus’ to us: “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me”. Like that young girl, who was thinking about her vocation … She went to visit an old people’s home. She was providing all kinds of service: cleaning, feeding, tidying… When she popped into one room to ask if anything was needed, she discovered an old lady crying alone. She came in, held her hands and asked again: ‘What do you need?’ ‘Just that’, the old lady answered, ‘affection!’ The girl spent the rest of the evening there. When she finished, she went to meet with the priest and told him that she wanted to give her life to God. The priest asked her: ‘How did you find out your vocation?’ ‘I held Christ’s hands today’, she answered, ‘and I was so happy that I thought, “this is what I want to do for the rest of my life: to lend a hand to others… to hold Jesus’ hand!”’ Mother of Fair Love, teach me to love as Jesus loves.
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © Fr. George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).