Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year B - 10th May 2015

God's Unfailing Love

Imagine a group of children playing when one of them is hurt. The child's mother rushes over and gently cares for the child. Observing the mother's actions, we admire her love for her child. We know she does not have the same affection for us. We don't expect her to. But we are impressed by her love for her child.

A similar situation is portrayed in today's responsorial psalm where all the nations observe God's great love for Israel. They are portrayed as observers, but not recipients, of this love. Nevertheless, they are invited to praise God for loving Israel so faithfully.

With the coming of Christ, however, the nations learn something marvellous. They discover that they are not merely the observers of God's love for others but that they too are the recipients of it. As the apostle Peter says, 'The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not have favourites but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God'.

Salvation means living with God's life coursing through our veins, and God's love and forgiveness influencing our every thought, word and deed. The Good News of Jesus is that God is truly on our side and wants to save us.

He has laid down his life for us, so making it possible for us to become his friends and to share in the intimate unity that exists between himself and his Father, but also challenging us 'to go out and bear fruit' by observing the commandments 'to love one another as I have loved you'.

We should take the initiative where love is concerned and try to see the hidden side of things. We should go out towards those less fortunate than ourselves. We should love right to the end and go on believing in love in spite of every betrayal.

Love bestows many benefits on the one who loves. One of the greatest of these is the gift of joy. 'I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.' Jesus calls us friends not servants. This is the cause of our joy. His love for us has changed us. Joy is the fruit of love. Joy is a heart over-flowing with love.

Fr Kevin O'Shea, C.M.