Reflections: 6th May 2018

A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 15: 9-17 (  )

Today Jesus tells us in the Gospel: “Love one another as I have loved you. What I command you is to love one another. Remain in my love”. Is love not the greatest of all themes in life, in literature, in human history? We use the word so much. Yet it has so many meanings, it is used in so many different contexts.

Christ makes clear by his life and teaching that love is everything for his followers. The only failure in Christian life is the failure to love. To refuse to love is to begin to die, but to begin to love is to begin to live.

Faith makes all things possible, but love makes all things easy. Gabriel Marcel said that presence and availability are the essence of love. It is easier to love at a distance – for example to relieve hunger in Asia – than to relieve the loneliness of a nearby neighbour.

St. Mother Teresa insisted that “love must begin with the people closest to us, making our homes centres of compassion, forgiving endlessly. At the hour of death when we come face-to-face with God, we are going to be judged on love; not on how much we have done, but on how much love we put into the doing”. 

We continue to seek the true meaning of Christian love. Allow me to share with you an explanation of love that is very meaningful for me. The author H. S. Sullivan said:When the satisfaction, security, development and well-being of another means as much to you as your own satisfaction, security, development and well-being, then love exists”.

For the Christian, for the disciple of Christ, this is very revealing. It makes it so evident that love is going to cost us, as it cost our Saviour in his life and especially in His passion.

Evidently, Christian love is not sentimentalism of any sort. True love is disinterested. It expresses itself in service and self-sacrifice. People are at their best when they love.

St. John Vianney said, "It is always springtime in the heart of those who love God".

John Flavin C.S.Sp. - Except for 5 years working at the Generalate in Rome, Fr. John has ministered mostly in education, in Ireland and in Sierra Leone.