Sunday Gospel reflections: Love — Are we up to the challenge?
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C)
In Jerusalem, Jews are forbidden to walk on parts of Temple Mount in order to prevent possible desecration of the Holy of Holies, the place where, in the Temple of Solomon, the tablets of the Ten Commandments given to Moses were kept. So holy were those tablets received from the hand of God that only the high priest could see them, and then only once a year, on Yom Kippur.
This Sunday, we hear of a promised New Jerusalem — a city even more sacred than the old, a city where peace and harmony reign, a city where all distinctions, all barriers have been removed. This city is the whole world, a world founded on a new law: a law broader and yet simpler than the old. That simplicity is based on a single word: love.
The law Jesus gave us tells us simply to love one another as he has loved us. Jesus said we would be recognized by the way in which we treat one another. It does sound simple; but in practice we are being asked to love as perfectly as God loves. We are being asked to put aside our petty differences, jealousies, dislikes, and hatreds. We are being asked simply to love, to strive for a world of peace and harmony.
Are we up to the challenge? When we can answer yes, we will be building that New Jerusalem.
— Patrick Doyle
Psalm 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
John 13:31-33A, 34-35