Scripture Reflection, 6th Sunday of Easter, May 14, 2023
Acts of the Apostles 8:5-8, 14-17 1Peter 3:15-18 John 14:15-21
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.“
In today's gospel Jesus says quite clearly what he considers proof of his disciples’ love for him… that they will show their love by the way they live their lives.
Popular culture often equates love with feeling and certainly love, especially young love can be a passionate, emotional experience. And yet, that is not the essence of love.
I think of the song, “Do you love me?,” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”. Tevye asks his wife the question. "Golde, do you love me? “ In response, she describes the life she's lived… washing his clothes, cooking his meals, cleaning his house, bearing children, even milking his cow! It is in these ordinary tasks carried out in fidelity that her love is shown. And they both agree that such ordinary things are proof of their love for one other.
Something similar can be said of our relationship with God. After a particularly moving retreat, I was quite enthusiastic! In fact, my charismatic friends referred to it as my "First Fervor.” But our love for God is not measured by our enthusiasms, but by our actions. And I pray that the life I live will continue to reveal that commitment.
The disciples had seen Jesus up close, they had heard his preaching. They will also see him suffer and die. Clearly, the life he is modeling for them to follow will be difficult. But it is in fidelity to that life regardless of the difficulties that love is shown.
Jesus reminds his disciples, as he reminds us, that we are not alone in that endeavor. The Spirit will supply what we need to carry on his works of justice and mercy, of charity and peacemaking, in our time and place. That is the proof… and the cost… of our love for him.
by: Pat Schnee