Theme: THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS JESUS LOVED US
- Acts 10:25-26. 34-35. 44-48;
- Psalm 97 (98): 1-4. R/ cf. v. 2;
- 1 John 4:7-10
Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter, Liturgical Year B. We are still in the Easter Season of 50 days! The Easter Season began on Easter Sunday and it will end on Pentecost Sunday. Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter, next Sunday we will celebrate “THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD” into heaven! The Sunday following that we will celebrate “PENTECOST SUNDAY”!
Again, the Gospel of John which we read on every Octave Day of Easter tells us that the Risen Lord gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples on the very day of his resurrection and sent them out to proclaim the good news so that those who believe and are baptized will have their sins forgiven!
The second reading today tells us to love one another because God is love. And the love of God is that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away! It is in the sacrifice of Jesus, that is, his death and resurrection, that the Holy Spirit is given to us! The Holy Spirit forgives our sins and the Holy Spirit helps us to love!
The gospel today tells us that Jesus Christ commands us to love one another as he has loved us! That is, to lay down our lives for our friends! The gospel ends by repeating the command of Jesus to love one another: “What I command you is to love one another”.
The gospel also tells us that Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another as he has loved us, so that his joy may be in us and our joy be complete, that is, the joy of heaven on earth!
The first reading tells us that the Holy Spirit was poured out, not only on the Jews, nor only on the Christians, but also on the pagans! It is the Holy Spirit that helps Jews, Christians and pagans to love one another as Jesus loved us!
That is why we have to proclaim the good news, so that all may believe and receive the Holy Spirit and so that all may love one another as Jesus loved us, that is, to lay down our lives for our friends!
The response of the Responsorial Psalm tells us that, “The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations”. Indeed the Lord has shown his salvation to the nations! The Responsorial Psalm has four verses. Verses one to three calls Israel to praise God for her salvation! Verse four calls all the nations of the earth which have seen the salvation of Israel to praise and worship the God of Israel! Thus verse four of the Responsorial Psalm: “Shout to the Lord all the earth, ring out your joy.”!
Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us to love one another as Jesus loved us, and the Holy Spirit will help us proclaim the good news, so that all may believe and receive the Holy Spirit and love one another as Jesus loved us, that is, to lay down their lives for their friends! And so that all the nations may praise and worship God! A happy Easter Season to all of you! Amen!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.