Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 9, 2021

By Marylou Garrett, Notre Dame Associate 

The focus of this Sunday’s readings is squarely on God’s lavish love for us, and the question we must ask ourselves is how we are being called to respond to that love.

The second reading makes clear what love truly is: “not that we have loved God, but that he loved us” and proved it by sending his Beloved Son into the world to give us life by sacrificing his own! Because God IS love and loves all of us completely, we are called to love each other as well.

Jesus’ love for us is so intimate and profound that he tells the apostles in today’s gospel that he loves them in the same way the Father loves him. In the end he gave them only one commandment to obey to remain in his love and experience his joy: “Love one another as I love you.” They were commissioned to spread that love to others through the Church after his Ascension. We are his witnesses now.

How are we called to be the incarnation of God’s love in our own day and situations? The first reading from Acts 10 challenged me to ask myself that question. When Peter sees for himself the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a gathering of Gentile faith seekers, he realizes that his fellow Jews were not the only ones called to become members of Christ’s family. Who have I seen as “other” that I need to see as someone Jesus died for and loves? Can I see good in someone who doesn’t vote the same way I do?  Act the way I would like them to? Comes from another country needing my help? How would Jesus respond to these “others”? How should I?