Fifth Sunday of Easter

05-19-2019Pastor's Letter©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"I give you a new commandment: love one another." With these words, Jesus sums up the law and the prophets in one concise phrase. Love one another. After 2,000 years, you'd think we'd have it figured out by now! But all too often we fail in this commandment. Perhaps we mistake "love" for mere "common decency." Perhaps we've been betrayed, or our own visions of love have been tarnished or misrepresented in our lives. Blessedly, Jesus doesn't leave us without a guide.

"As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." Jesus himself modeled what this love should look like. So what are some of the characteristics of the love of Christ? Humility, for one. St. Paul writes that Jesus "emptied Himself." In becoming man, Jesus puts aside the full splendor of the Godhead. Not only does he become human, but he takes on many of the mundane privations of human life. He spent most of his life in relative poverty - especially by our standards - as a common laborer. When he began gaining popularity as a preacher, he still traveled on foot and spent nights in other people's homes or outdoors.

Jesus' love is generous. He was always available to the crowds and to being interrupted by people in need. He invested time in his disciples and patiently taught them about the kingdom of God. The love of Jesus is also courageous. He encountered many people deemed less worthy of human respect, due to being public sinners or having a physical or mental disability. Jesus was brave in breaking these social boundaries to show care and concern to the outcast. These traits are possible for us to imitate! Indeed, we are hardly identifiable as Christians without them. "This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Quinta Semana de Pascua

El Evangelio de este V Domingo de Pascua nos dice que "Cuando Judas salió del cenáculo, Jesús dijo: 'Ahora ha sido glorificado el Hijo del hombre y Dios ha sido glorificado en él. Si Dios ha sido glorificado en él, también Dios lo glorificará en sí mismo y pronto lo glorificará." (Juan 13:31-32). Con referencia al término de las partidas que frecuentemente indican el final de algo, en esta ocasión Judas cierra su ciclo de fidelidad al Señor. Por el contrario, Jesús anuncia en su partida la apertura a lo nuevo, a la gracia de Dios en la vida humana por medio de la resurrección. Después, Jesús continúa ensañando el mandamiento nuevo; El amor nuevo hacia todos sin distinción de personas, sin límite alguno. Ese amor máximo es comprobado con su muerte de cruz.

¿Amamos nosotros de esa manera? ¿En este momento, a quien le doy amor sin condiciones? El Papa Francisco nos lo repite en todos los momentos que habla en público y en su vida privada. El nos da respuestas seguras con sus palabras y hechos:

El primero es el mandamiento del amor: ya no sólo "amar al prójimo como a ti mismo", sino un paso más: "Amar al prójimo como yo os he amado". "El amor sin límites. Sin esto la Iglesia no va adelante. La Iglesia no respira". "Sin el amor, no crece, se transforma en una institución vacía, de apariencias, de gestos sin fecundidad. Ir a su cuerpo: Jesús nos dice cómo debemos amar, hasta el final". (Homilía del Papa en Santa Marta Ciudad del Vaticano, 26 de abril de 2018).

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