6TH Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 10:25-26.34-35.44-48 1 John 4:7-10 John 15:9-17

Theme: God is love

Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter Year B. In our readings for some time now we hear Jesus preparing his disciples for the future, preparing them for what will come after he has ascended to his Father. Two weeks ago we were talking about the good Shepherd. Last Sunday, it was the vine and the branches and today it is about love. We are told that God is love and it is this love in a very special way in today’s liturgy that runs through our readings. Today we are encouraged as children of God to imbibe the culture of love that is presented to us on this Sunday liturgy.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, when you look at the three readings we have today, we see the depth of God’s love for humanity. In the first reading of today, we see Peter breaking the barrier that separates the Jews from the Gentiles. He visits the house of the centurion Cornelius, a pagan, and in the course of reaching out; the Holy Spirit manifests his power and confirms the word of Peter. An incident that points out the fact that God goes beyond frontiers and has no favorites.

With God there is no partiality and we see that in the first reading of today. That goes a long way to show us as children of God to learn to go beyond frontiers by building bridges instead of walls that will separate us from one another. St. Paul breaks the barrier that separates the Jews from the Gentiles. Today, the Gentiles are given the same privilege that is enjoyed by the Jewish people. In the same way, as children of God in our own time, we are called to break the same barriers that are there as a result of Ethnicity, race, social status and colour. Let us break all these barriers because these barriers do not help us to enjoy peace, joy and happiness, it rather creates room for hatred, division, bitterness, wars and unnecessary rivalry. Today Peter gives us an example that is worthy of emulation. In the example given to us by Peter, we see the depth of God’s love for you and I and that is why my brothers and sisters on this day in a very special way we are invited to imbibe this culture of love because we are children of God, and partakers of God’s love.

Our world is in need of this love. If this love is practiced, if this love is exhibited, in our human relationships, in our actions, you can be rest assured that our lives will be better than it is today. Our society will be better than it is today. Our society is full of anger, is full of hatred and bitterness, is full of division because there is lack of love. Today’s liturgy encourages us to embrace the unconditional love that made Jesus decide to come and die for us, even while we were sinners.

That is why Jesus calls us his friends. He calls us his friends because he does not see us as anything less. My brothers and sisters, why do we find it difficult to also live out this love in our lives? In the world in which we live, one of the words that have greatly been misused is the word love. We have reduced love to emotional passion. We have reduced love to what it ought not to be. But today’s liturgy encourages us, and invites us to perfect love, unconditional love that comes from God alone.

Love entails self-giving. As long as we are willing to do it, you can be rest assured that the commissioning that Jesus talks about will be practiced in our life and we will bear fruits that will last. We have to try as much as possible to go out of the self to give God a chance in our lives. To be ready to be selfless, to empty ourselves, and encourage all that will promote life. The emphasis is about loving perfectly, and loving unconditionally. Let the love that we enjoy radiate such that everybody around us begins to experience it in our relationship with them.

You can be rest assured that if we can do this our society will become a better place, the world in which we live will become a better place.  We pray that God will grant us the grace to cooperate with Him so that we will bear fruits, fruits that we will last. Peace be with you. 



Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp