The Fifth Sunday of Easter:
by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Love One Another
Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
A line from a song may sum up our gospel readings for the Easter season. “I like simple songs, songs that I can sing.” The Easter readings offer simple things that the Risen Jesus wants us to remember.
They repeat some themes over and over. That’s because many of Easter readings come from the Gospel of John and, particularly, his account of Last Supper, where Jesus speaks at length to his disciples. Some say this part of the gospel is not an exact account of what Jesus said on Holy Thursday night, but rather it offers us the words the Risen Christ wishes to bequeath to his Church.
What does he say? First, he assures us he is close to us. Like a vine giving life to its branches, he remain with us for all ages and his life flows into ours. Though we don’t see him, he does not leave us orphans. His Spirit dwells in us.
Listen to him, too, saying over and over that we should love one another. Our love should be like his, he says, a love so great as to lay down our lives for each other. This same teaching is expressed in the Eucharist, where Jesus gives his body and blood lovingly, in the signs of bread and wine. By sharing himself with us in these signs, his love enlivens ours.
When you come down to it, faith is a simple song that Jesus who is Risen continues to sing to us, till we learn it by heart.
we hear you again and again
as we come to the Supper Room and gather at your table,
slow to understand.
Your resurrection was not a momentary mystery,
you still rise in our time and place,
to teach us travelers along the road,
and to give yourself with us as we gather and eat.
Without you all is night and darkness,
with you there is light,
and “in your light we see light.”