Verse of the Day
BVMC is a loving Catholic Christian Community
that seeks to worship God reverently,
serve His creation faithfully
and bring the good news of the Gospel
to the community outside its doors.
Wednesday, Bitter Lamentations - 6:30 PM
Friday, Stations of the Cross - 7:00 PM
Saturday, Vigil Mass of Sunday - 5:00 PM
Sunday, Holy Mass - 9:00 AM
Listening to the Word
Sixth Sunday of Easter 'B'
May 9, 2021
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 John 4:7-10
John 15: 9-17
Today’s Scripture passages declare the profound truth that those who believe in Christ are to obey his commandment of love – “Love others as I have loved you.” When we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us remember with gratitude that it is generally our mothers who practice the agápe love of Jesus.
In the First Reading, Peter teaches us that God shows no partiality in His love and that there are no boundaries to abiding in love. God loves everyone, both the Jews and the Gentiles, and He wants everyone to be saved through His son, Jesus. That is why God welcomed the Roman centurion Cornelius as the first non-Jew to become a Christian. The reading tells us how God also allowed the Gentiles who heard Peter’s speech to receive the same Holy Spirit and His gifts that Peter’s Jewish audience had received on the day of Pentecost.
In the Second Reading, John defines God as love and explains that He expressed His love for mankind by sending His son to die for us humans “as expiation for our sins.” This Divine love gives us the command as well as duty to love one another as we have been loved by God. Since God has loved us first, we can and should love God in return, love ourselves and love one another.
After telling the parable of the vine and branches, Jesus, in today’s Gospel, teaches the disciples that are to obey His commandment of love just as Jesus has obeyed His Heavenly Father’s will by fulfilling His commandments and remaining inseparably bonded with His Father. Jesus’ unconditional, forgiving, selfless, sacrificial love for us must be the criterion of our love for others. The highest expression of this love is our willingness to lay down our lives as Jesus did, for people who don’t deserve it. The goal and result of our abiding in love, in God, will be perfect joy. Jesus calls us friends. He tells us that He has chosen us, and that, if we use Jesus’ name, we can ask the Father for anything.
The qualities we normally expect from our friends are trust, mutuality, faithfulness, equality, forgiveness, joy and sacrifice. Jesus offers us all these qualities in our friendship with Him. As a friend, Jesus has trusted us by sharing with us everything that He has heard from His Father. We have to trust Him as a friend by listening to Him through the Bible and talking to Him by prayer. As an understanding friend, Jesus is ready to forgive us time and time again. Let us also forgive those who offend us.
Jesus demonstrated the love God, His Father, has for us by living for us and dying for us. As His disciples, we are to be persons for others, sacrificing our time, talents and lives for them. This is what parents spontaneously do for their children by sacrificing themselves, their time, talents, health, and wealth for them. That is, they “spend” themselves for their children. The most effective way of communicating God’s love to others is by treating everyone as a friend, giving each the respect he or she deserves as a human being, God’s creation. In moments of trial and stress, when people are hostile or ungrateful and we feel the pull of bitter resentment in our hearts, it is important for us to remember that Christ’s own love was not limited to the people He liked. We should close our minds to thoughts of revenge.