Sixth Sunday of Easter: “Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est”—where true charity is dwelling, God is present there— or as we Filipinos express it in song: “Dakilang pag-ibig, saan man manahan; Diyos ay naroon, walang alinlangan”. People throughout the course of history have contemplated on the meaning of love and expressed praises for such a noble virtue. In like manner, Christians throughout the ages have held the virtue of love as the very foundation of their religion, and so share the message of God’s love for all of humankind through word and action.
St. Clare of Assisi once said: “we become what we love, and who we love shapes what we become”. In today’s Gospel Reading, Christ, the True Vine, presents himself as a model of charity: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love” (John 15:9). Throughout history, God has shown his merciful love—a love that conquers all and endures forever—to His chosen people like a father’s love for his children (cf. CCC 218-220). Great is His love for the world that God gave them a gift more precious than silver or gold, His only begotten Son, to redeem the world from the powers of sin and death: “In this is love”, as the apostle John tells us in today’s Second Reading, “not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
“Purihi't ibigin ang ating Diyos na Siyang unang nagmamamahal; kaya't buong pag-ibig rin nating mahalin, ang bawat kapatid at kapwa”. As we come to worship today, let us give thanks to God who first loved us, and just as God loves each and every one of us, we should do the same to one another, bearing in mind the words of the same apostle: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (v. 8 ).
Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. #catholic #instacatholic #gospelfortoday