Today and next Sunday, our scripture readings for the Lord’s Day from the Lectionary will be from the 13th and 14th chapters of the Gospel according to Saint John. In context these words of our Savior and Lord are spoken prior to his glorification, that is, his passion, death and resurrection. As the Church proclaims them in the Easter season – the time of Paschal joy – we hear them as if the Risen Lord himself is speaking them to us.
Last week as we assembled for Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, we heard these words from John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice: I know them and they follow me.” It’s always important that we hear Jesus’ voice – his Word – for it keeps us close to and on the path of eternal life. The command to love in today’s Gospel, and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit that we will hear in next Sunday’s Gospel, are the two sure-fire ways that we remain with Jesus who wants us to share in his glory.
In order to love as Jesus has loved us – a revelation of the love of the Triune God for all people – we must put into practice the love that is enacted in our midst at each and every Mass. It is a selfless love; it is a self-giving love; it is a love that knows no limits; it is a love that is unconditional. To know and realize what this love looks like, we need this weekly time together so that we hear Jesus’ voice and learn from him how to love.