Fifth Sunday of Easter
Love one another just as I have loved you’
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel recounts how Auschwitz camp authorities advised prisoners to think only of themselves if they wished to survive. Yet, invariably, it was those who insisted on remembering loved ones who were more likely to come through their desperate ordeal. There are two main doctrines in the Bible; love God and love people. If we get other doctrines wrong, but get these two right, we will still be in good standing with the Lord. The command to love was central to the preaching of Jesus, and it was certainly at the heart of His final address to His disciples in the Upper Room. The love He speaks of takes us beyond ourselves to be the best of ourselves, and the measure of our love will decide the measure of our happiness. Sixteenth century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, expressed this challenging teaching with striking clarity: ‘in the evening of life we shall be judged on love alone’. Interestingly, Jesus did not command His disciples to love the whole world, but rather, to love one another. When Mother Teresa reflected on the implications of these words of the Lord she offered this wise and practical advice: ‘Love begins by taking care of the closest ones…‘If you want to change the world go home and love your family’.