Fifth Sunday of Easter

The first part of today’s Gospel, spoken by Jesus to the disciples at the table with him the night before he died, takes us back to the painful moment of Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ imminent death on the Cross.  In John, this is the moment of Jesus’ glorification.  This same reality must be lived out by his missioned disciples, as heard in today’s First Reading.  It is interesting to hear the “love commandment,” the second focus in today’s Gospel, in these last days of Easter Time (“the little while”) prior to Jesus’ Ascension.

No matter what happens in our lives, we care called to love one another as Jesus did.  We are known as Christ’s disciples by how we love through the pain and rejection in our lives.  Under some circumstances, to love in such a way requires extraordinary faith.  Jesus loved even the one who betrayed him.  He forgave those who hanged him on the cross.  We are to forgive, too.

To love on another as Jesus loved them is the parting command that the Risen Christ gives us today.