Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27
Paul and Barnabas proclaim the good news in many places.
A song of praise to God.
John describes his vision of a new heaven and a new earth.
Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment: love one another.
Gospel: John 13:31-33a,34-35
When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified,
and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Today's Gospel again comes from the Gospel of John. Like last week, today we hear words spoken by Jesus before his death and Resurrection. Jesus is teaching at the Last Supper.
John's Gospel does not present a sentimental view of love. This is a type of love that is shown in service and sacrifice. It is difficult to choose to love when faced with hatred and anger. Jesus tells the disciples that all will know that they are his disciples because of the love they show for one another.
This description of the early Christian community will be repeated in the Acts of the Apostles: “See how they love one another.” Christian love is the hallmark of Christianity.
We see it lived in the witness of the martyrs. We see it in the example of the lives of the saints. We see it in the holy women and men who live and love daily, making small and large sacrifices for others.
Words of the Holy Father
"Today too, many people, often without saying so, implicitly would like to “see Jesus”, to meet him, to know him. This is how we understand the great responsibility we Christians and of our communities have.
We too must respond with the witness of a life that is given in service, a life that takes upon itself the style of God – closeness, compassion and tenderness – and is given in service.
It means sowing seeds of love, not with fleeting words but through concrete, simple and courageous examples, not with theoretical condemnations, but with gestures of love. Precisely then, in trials and in solitude, while the seed is dying, that is the moment in which life blossoms, to bear ripe fruit in due time.
It is in this intertwining of death and life that we can experience the joy and true fruitfulness of love, which always, I repeat, is given in God’s style: closeness, compassion, tenderness. (Pope Francis)