📕Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4 (R.v.2); 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17

We shall never get tired of pointing out that Christianity is a vocation of love. Without love, we cannot be said to be Christians. God created man out of love and came to redeem him due to that love. He then commands us to love one another as loved us (cf. John 13:34).

This is the last Sunday before the Ascension of the Lord. There are two very important things that we must have to get from todays liturgy. The first is that love makes us one in Christ. The second is that the Law is not antithetical to love. In other words, the Law is not in opposition to love. Instead, the law serves to gather us together in love.

The Second Reading reminds us that God is love. Love is the essence of God; it cannot be separated from God. And to show that we are the children of God, we too must dwell in love. Jesus, who has shown us the face of God also told us that it is only through love that people would come to know that we are his disciples.

There is a beautiful description that St. Paul makes of love in 1 Cor 13:7. He says, Love excuses all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Can you see a connection between that and what happened in the First Reading? God can overcome any obstacle just for the sake of love.

The Jew in Peter forbids him from mixing up with the gentiles but God forced him to understand that it is important to love all without exception. This means that we must love even those people who do not have the same belief as we do.

No doubt, some written and unwritten laws forbid us from associating with some sets of people. Those laws cannot be of God because the very commandments of God are summed up into LOVE as the Gospel tells us today. This love unites Jesus with the Father. And we follow his ways, we shall also be united with the Father.

Remember what St. John the evangelist tells, If anyone says, I love God, while he hates his brother, he is a liar. How can he love God whom he does not see, if he does not love his brother whom he can see? (1 John 4:20).

To know how we can show this love effectively, we must try to cast our minds back to the messages of the Divine Mercy Sunday, which is the Second Sunday after Easter, where we were invited to embrace the merciful love of God and show this merciful love to others.

That merciful love was portrayed by the Good Shepherd of the Fourth Sunday of Easter who laid down his life for his sheep (cf. John 10:11-18) and the vine dresser of the Fifth Sunday of Easter who waters the vine so that the branches would bear good fruit (cf. John 15:1-8). Those are the things we must also do to show that we are the children of God.

May God give us the grace to love as he loved us and so reap the joy that comes with showing love. Amen.

Have a lovely Sunday. Peace be with you.

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