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Remaining in God’s love

Readings for May 4-5, Sixth Sunday of Easter

By Fr. Edward Looney | For On Mission

Love takes center stage in our second reading and Gospel this weekend. Christianity is all about God’s love for us and it seems that the writings of St. John, both his Gospel and epistles, focus a lot on love. 

Earlier in John’s Gospel, in the often quoted and recited verse 3:16, he tells us about God’s love for humanity: For God so loved the world that he sent his son so that whoever believes in him might have eternal life.

If you need to be reminded how much God loves you, look at the crucifix.

When Jesus says in the Gospel today that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends, that’s what Jesus did by his death. Today in the Gospel, he calls us his friends. He laid down his life for us, dying for our sins, obtaining forgiveness and redemption. 

The life and ministry of Jesus also revolved around love. When Jesus summarized the Commandments, he did so from the perspective of love: love of God and love of neighbor. 

Jesus demonstrated love all throughout his ministry, too. He loved the woman caught in adultery because he advocated for her and spared her from certain death. He shows love towards those he heals. Jesus calls people to conversion and repentance because he loves them, and wants them to inherit the promise of eternal life. 

When St. John writes that God is love, he knows it because he heard Jesus teach it and he witnessed it as he stood beneath the cross on Good Friday. 

In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus encourages us to remain in his love. During this time of Eucharistic revival, I’ve seen a meme circulating on social media that pertains to Eucharistic Adoration. If memory serves, it pictures a person praying in adoration, pouring out their heart with the phrase, “What I do during adoration.” 

The second image is “What Jesus does for me during adoration” and it is him embracing the individual. If we want to regularly experience God’s love and remain in his love, I can’t think of a better way or place than Eucharistic Adoration because there we express our love for Jesus and we receive his love into our hearts. 

When we remain with Jesus in prayer before the monstrance in adoration or before the tabernacle, we will experience a change in our life. We will notice how God changes our hearts and how it becomes easier to live the Commandments. 

It will become easier for us to love and follow St. John’s exhortation to “Let us love one another.” When we know God’s love and have received God’s love, it becomes much easier to love our neighbor. When we remain in his love, we will be love.

Fr. Looney is the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Shawano, and priest celebrant of St. Martin Parish, Cecil. He hosts the podcast “Hey Everybody, It’s Fr. Edward.”

The readings for Sunday, May 5, can be found at Sixth Sunday of Easter | USCCB.

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