5th Sunday of Easter Year C
Acts.14: 21-27; Rev.21: 1-5a; Jn.13:31-33a, 34-35
A husband and wife went for counseling after 15 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they ever had in the 15 years they had been married.
She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.
Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze.
The therapist turned to the husband and said, “This is what your wife needs at least three times a week Can you do this?”
The husband thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Friday’s, I fish!
We love our sports-teams and rock-bands and we are proud to be identified with them. So we wear T-shirts and hats and even sometimes the uniforms.
Jesus wanted us to be identified with Him and His team. Since there were no uniforms, habits, badges, bumper stickers, pinups, T-shirts or hats during His time. He made it very simple for His followers.
He said that people would know we are His followers if we would love one another. The beautiful hymn (we are Christians by our love and they’ll know we are Christians by our love).
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
All will know we are His disciples by this special identification.
No special hats or uniforms are needed. Our identification is our love for others. Making others happy in our homes, work places and at schools is how the kingdom of God is built.
Loving others sounds simple. But it is difficult to attain.
A soldier was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam War. He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask.
I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.” “Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”
“There is something you should know,” the son continued, “He was injured pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a landmine and lost an arm and a leg.
He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.” “I’m sorry to hear that, son. May be we can help him find somewhere to live.”
“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.” “Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking.
Someone with such a handicap (physically challenged) would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives.
I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He will find a way to live on his own.” At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him.
A few days later however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son.
They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.
St. Mother Teresa remarked that the greatest disease in the world is not tuberculosis, leprosy or even A.I.D.S.; it is being unwanted, uncared for and unloved.
It is easy for us to love those who are good-looking, fun to be with, smart, not giving us any problem, and not causing us any troubles or hassles.
We would rather stay away from those who make us feel uncomfortable and annoying. We very often hear the excuse that he/she has been unloving and grumpy all his/her life.
It cannot be true. He/she was not always like that; it is a choice he/she has made. Therefore, they can change if they wish.
Love can be re-learned. We can be re-educated, re-formed and renewed. We don’t have to live in misery and unwantedness. We can change our life; it is a matter of decision from our part.
A word of ‘sorry’ can change our whole life forever. We shall try with our parents and friends and see how life is going to bear fruit.
There are three states of life:
1. Not to love and not to be loved – this seems like hell on earth.
2. To love and not to be loved in return – this though painful, is better than the first.
3. To love and to be loved – this is the blessed state Jesus enjoyed and asks us to practice.
There are at least five kinds of love. They are utilitarian love, romantic love, democratic love (based upon equality under the law), humanitarian love and the fifth kind is Christian love summed up in the commandment of Jesus: Love one another as I have loved you.”
It expresses itself in service, affection and self-sacrifice.
The words of Jesus “Love your neighbor as yourself” is addressed to each one of us. According to S.F.S. “to love our neighbor in charity is to love God in man.”
Love must be the rule of community. Jesus wants today that: Love should reign the life of our community.
We can become whole and holy only when we learn to love ourselves properly, acknowledging the presence of the Triune God in our souls, making our bodies the “temple of the Holy Spirit.
We love others by responding to the call of God in our lives and by walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
We love others by making sacrifices for them. This is how the world will know that we are the Disciples of Christ.
So the hallmark of Christian life is love. For Jesus says: “by this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciple.” (Jn.13:35)
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing. Amen.