May 10, 2015
6th Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 10:25–26, 34–35, 44–48
2nd Reading: 1 Jn 4:7–10
Gospel: Jn 15:9–17
Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.
“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
“This is my command, that you love one another.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Several years ago, a pop singer caught the ire of patriotic citizens for singing the Philippine National Anthem stylistically at the start of one of the most viewed fights of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. The fuss over how this song should be sung may indicate patriotism. But we do not know how many have gone into deeper scrutiny of the core value which the song expresses. The last verse “ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘yo” (to give up my life for you) even comes closest to the highest form of love today’s Gospel is talking about. Jesus said, “No greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13).
Allow me to bring in two OPMs for better appreciation of this core value – the songs “Dahil sa ‘yo”, and “Habang may buhay”. While the National Anthem talks about dying for others, these two songs talk about living for others. These three take us into deeper reflection on the highest form of love. To love the way Jesus wants us to love is to lay down our life for others. We can do so by dying (ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘iyo), or by living for the beloved (“Habang may buhay sa ‘yo’y ibibigay”).
Is living for others easier than dying for them? So it appears. But a deeper reflection affirms the contrary. Dying is a one-shot deal while living for others requires consistency, constancy and the willingness to suffer indefinitely for the sake of the beloved. While dying is the measure of the loftiness of one’s love, living for others is the measure of its depth. The height that love can ascend to is endless, but its depth is equally bottomless.
Whether love takes us to living or dying for others, the call is the same: to love without measure. Wow, if this is the kind of love required to procure salvation, who can be saved? The objection is valid if we consider loving as a burden. Loving is not a burden to those who have fallen in love with God. They spontaneously embrace it as a life program because the God they have fallen in love with is love par excellence. They can do the seemingly impossible feat of loving without measure because “with God nothing is impossible” (Lk. 1:37). – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, may we remain in Jesus and so remain in you by living out the commandment of love. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. John of Avila, also known as Apostle of Andalusia was born in 1499 in Toledo, Spain, to a wealthy Castilian family. He studied law at the University of Salamanca from age 14 and became a lawyer and a Priest. Following the death of his parents, he liquidated most of his large fortune, and gave it to the poor. Travelling as a preacher, he evangelized Andalusia. He was the spiritual director of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint John of God, and Saint Louis of Granada.