May 10 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: Sacrificial Love

May 7th, 2015

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First Reading  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.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 98:1,2-3,3-4
A song of praise for God's salvation

Second Reading  1 John 4:7-10
God is love.

Gospel Reading
John 15:9-17

Jesus is talking of a very special kind of love, love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. This is unselfish love, loving the other for the other’s sake without anything in it for oneself. As we read in Ephesians, “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph 5:2); “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25). To make sure we would not confuse this very special type of love with other types of love, which often are more lust than love, the writers of the New Testament used a very special word to describe the love of Jesus for us and the love of God for us. They said Jesus loved us with agape love ἀγάπη (agape). That is love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. Jesus is our model for loving with this sacrificial love, agape love, loving the other for their benefit without putting ourselves first. When does Jesus show us that agape love most of all? When he died on the cross for us. That is why in the Gospel today Jesus also says, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). May Jesus help us to live that agape love.