Fifth Sunday of Easter – C May 2nd, 2010

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Dear Friends:

Jesus says:

“I give you a new commandment, that you Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another . By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:34-35)

In today’s gospel Jesus asks us to love others as he loves us. Since we have so many depictions of love in what we see on TV and read and listen to in popular music it would be good to understand exactly what is the love Jesus speaks of. It is easy to love those who are good to us but what about loving those who have hurt us? The more serious the hurt the more difficult it is to love them. Therefore we need to heal these hurts so that we can love others.

Jesus said we will be known as his disciples by the love we have for one another. We can make heaven on earth by loving as Jesus loved, and we get a description of heaven in our second reading today.

Today we thank God for the gift of his love for us, we thank Jesus for his love for us which sacrificed himself for us as we see in the sufferings of the crucified man in the Shroud of Turin. Through prayer and the healing of hurts , let us continue to draw strength from God to love others as Jesus loved us.

A story is told about a teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his boots: He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still did not want to go on. When the second boot was on. She had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, “Teacher, they are on the wrong feet”. She looked and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than scream, “Why didn’t you say so?” like she wanted to say. Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear them” She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots.”

Ever had one of those days?

I think all of us do. The question is, will we bite our tongues and do that good thing we desire to do? Will we face the countless little crosses that appear before us each day? Will we willingly take on the burdens that should not be ours to take despite a lack of appreciation and understanding among those whom we are helping?

This is what love does – it accepts the little crosses !!