Friday of the 5th week of Easter year A

Theme: “You are my friends”

In the gospel reading of today, Jesus tells us to love one another as he has loved us. He also went further by calling all those who keep this commandment his friends. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the request Jesus is making today, is something that he has done and lived in his life. So, he is not telling us to do something that is foreign to him, he is rather inviting us to practice what he has done and is very possible for us to also do in our lives. It is this love that Jesus is talking about that gave rise to his father sending him to take our human form and die for us on the cross, for our redemption. This love that Jesus is talking about can be seen in the relationship that exists among the Triune God.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the practice of love for one another in our world today, is a necessity. Things are the way they are right now in our world because many people are becoming increasingly self-centered and are not worried about how their personal decisions and choices affected other people negatively. But the situation will be different if we take the commandment of love presented to us in todays gospel by Jesus seriously. When we allow love to guide our actions and decisions, it will almost be impossible for us to act in such a way that it will be good for us and detrimental to other people. When there is love, there will be selflessness and the desire to always look at the larger picture before we make decisions, because we care about how our action will affect others.

Dearly beloved in Christ, we live in a world where people are more concerned about their own comfort and what they stand to gain in any given situation. No wonder, St. Augustin said “Love God and do whatever you will”. He could boldly say that because he knows that love is not self-centered but rather selflessness and will always promote the general good and not that of an individual at the detriment of others. If we resolve today to accept the admonition of Jesus in the gospel, we will become better people and our world will be more loving and a peaceful place. At least wars and violence will be reduced, and the evil, hatred and bitterness will be greatly reduced, if not totally eradicated from our lives and the world at large.

One thing that must always guide you in your word and actions is the fact that you are a friend of Jesus. With that consciousness and the resolve to allow love to guide all that you do, will make you a worthy ambassador for Christ wherever you fine yourself. This commandment may sound difficult humanly speaking, but if we are serious about it and make honest effort, the grace of God will continue to strengthen us and help us to practice it in our daily life. I want you to know that with God on your side and your honest effort, everything will work out well at the end. The more we can live in love, the more we will abide in God and the more we will bear good fruits. As you do this, may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Friday of the 5th week of Easter year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp