From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: John 13:31-33a 34-35 Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment: love one another.
Summary: Jesus knows that shame and death will not have the last word and that they will not thwart the divine purpose for which he came. Jesus proclaims with great confidence that in his death, there will be a glory. He speaks these words so that the disciples will not lose heart when his suffering and death come about but will persevere in their faith and carry that faith to others. In Jesus’ new commandment to the disciples, he describes the need for the disciples to persevere in love.
Scripture: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
One day Jesus was talking to his disciples. He knew that the day was coming when he would return to heaven, and he was trying to prepare his disciples for the day when he would no longer be with them. He wanted to leave them with something that would help them to live in such a way that other people would see them and know that they were his disciples.
“I will be with you only a little while longer,” Jesus said. “Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me because you cannot go where I am going. I give you a new commandment. You must love each other just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
Would you like for people to look at the way you live and know that you are a follower of Jesus? Well, then obey his command, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus, we thank you that you loved us so much that you gave your life for us. Help us to love one another as you have loved us. Amen.
My Promise to Jesus: I will draw a heart and decorate it. Then I can put it in my prayers corner to remind me that my heart was made to love!
Let us pray for our children receiving Eucharist for the first time. We ask that their minds may be filled with His truth and their hearts with His love. We also remember their parents, godparents and catechists who by their words and actions guided these children through their Eucharistic preparation.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: In what ways do you need to change so that your love for friends and family is more like Jesus’ love for his followers?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
The Most Magnificent Thing
Written by Ashley Spires
Family Discussion: Is love the first word your family members use to describe their interactions? Love is difficult. Jesus’ sacrifice for us is an example of this. Yet because of love, the glory of God is fully revealed in Jesus. God’s glory is revealed in us when we act as the Body of Christ, as individuals and as a community. In the love we have for one another—difficult, challenging, sacrificial love—we find Jesus.
Choose one or two occasions when your family was together during the week. Describe the family’s interactions from an outsider’s perspective. When is it less difficult to show love to family members? When is it more difficult? When love is difficult, what do we do?
Jesus didn’t just tell us to love one another. He showed us how to love one another. In what ways did Jesus show us how to love? (in his acts of healing and forgiving; at the Last Supper as he washed his disciples’ feet; in the gift of the Eucharist; through his death on the Cross)