"As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.”
Acts of the Apostles 10:25-26,34-35,44-48
The gift of the Holy Spirit comes to Cornelius and his household, and they are baptized.
A song of praise for God’s salvation
1 John 4:7-10
God is love.
Gospel: John 15: 9-17
Jesus said to his disciples
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another."
Christianity demands that the believer not only grasp intellectually the main tenets of the faith, but also act on them in daily life. The extraordinary story of Cornelius' conversion in today's first reading certainly illustrates this message. It is the longest individual narrative in the Acts of the Apostles. The theme of this narrative is divine compulsion: Peter is the least prepared to accept Cornelius into the Christian community, and he even refuses to admit him two times.
Peter had to be converted before he could convert Cornelius. Peter came to the realization that God's gifts were given to all those who listened to the Word of God.
In today's Gospel we hear the powerful words: "No longer do I call you servants ... but I have called you friends." We are not useless servants but friends! The Lord calls us friends; he makes us his friends; he gives us his friendship.
Jesus defines friendship in two ways. There are no secrets between friends: Christ tells us everything he hears from the Father; he gives us his full confidence and, with confidence, also knowledge. He reveals his face to us, his heart. He shows his tenderness for us, his passionate love that goes to the folly of the cross.
If we were to name one of the most frequent and important themes of Benedict XVI's teaching and preaching, it would certainly be his invitation to be a friend of Jesus. "True friendship with Jesus is expressed in the way of life: It is expressed with goodness of heart, with humility, meekness and mercy, love for justice and truth, a sincere and honest commitment to peace and reconciliation." From the Biblical Reflection for 5th Sunday of Easter by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB