6th Sunday of Easter –
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved 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 own joy may be in you and your joy be complete This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you.I shall not call you servants any morebecause a servant does not know his master’s business; I call you friends, Because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.You did not choose me, no, I chose you;and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. What I command you Is to love one another.’
‘You are my friends…. I call you friends’ Let the passage remind you of the joy that there is to be gained in true friendship. When we connect with others we share companionship and a genuine sense of belonging. Can you bring to mind a special friend – someone who has always looked out for you? Someone who ‘has your back’. Can you recall times in your life when you have taken on the role of a true friend? When have we walked beside our friends in times of joy and sadness? Take a few minutes to reflect, with love and gratitude, on the gift of friendship. Lord, help us always to recognise that we are all called to be your friends and that you call each of us by name.
‘What I command you is to love one another’ Let the words of Jesus remind you of people who live lives enriched with unconditional love. Women like Sr Consilio, St Mother Teresa, St Catherine of Siena; people in our community who care and, like St Martin, reach out with love every day. People who look after and protect the vulnerable and the voiceless and demand nothing in return. Lord, may the joy that they receive through loving inspire our lives and help make us complete.