OMELIE / Omelie EN

15 mag 2022
15/05/2022 – 5th Sunday of Easter - year C

15/05/2022 – 5th Sunday of Easter - year C

Reading 1 ACTS 14, 21-27 Psalm 144 Reading 2 REV 21, 1-5 Gospel JN 13, 31-33. 34-35

It is necessary to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”. With these words Paul and Barnabas preached to the communities they had gathered. They did not promise to new Christians an easy and comfortable life, full of pleasures and consolations, like Jesus had never promised it would be. Jesus Himself had said clearly “the world hated me before it hated you” and “they will hand you over to councils and flog you”, but also: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account”! Troubles are part of a Christian’s life. And we discover it, every time we want to live our faith with some seriousness.

Every day, the very television you pay for to give you reliable news and dignified and informative entertainment, is slapping instead in your face all that can be found damaging to your faith, is giving you offensive words and discussions that are detracting from us and our shepherds; the same can be said about those newspapers and magazines with which you fill your houses and your imagination, or the tablets you put in your children’s and teenagers' hands.

It is necessary to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”. When Saint Paul says this, he had already been rejected by a few cities, he had to flee Damascus lowered in the basket from the city walls, he had been stoned and left for dead by the people of Listri. He will still suffer more beatings and imprisonments, but always with the joy to be faithful to his Lord Jesus Christ.

Today’s gospel is showing us a precise moment of Jesus’ suffering: Judah leaves the room of the Last Supper. By leaving it he leaves behind the communion with the other disciples and above all the communion with Jesus. What is he going to do? How will he end up? Jesus is suffering for him, and for Himself. However, He lets him go freely, He does not send anyone after him to convince him or get him back. He understands that is coming for Him the time of the passion and death. For Him this moment is the Time in which He can highlight the greatest love, He can then “glorify” the Father. And with the same love will be shown His divine greatness, His glory. He will enter death: this is not the time for His people to accompany Him, but every moment is good to do what He is doing, so to show the Father’s love. And they will do so by loving one another with the same passion as Jesus.

What does loving one another mean? It does not only mean loving others: loving others might also be a push towards pride which is making us think we are good, worthy, even better or superior to others. Loving one another is welcoming the brother’s love, appreciating it, taking for love his actions towards me. What my brethren do to me, is love of God for me, even if I might not like it, even of I do not understand it or if sometimes it might make me suffer. But the Lord knows what is good for me. Loving one another first of all means humility to accept we need the brethren's attention, and think they are better than me, think they are a gift from the Father. And because Jesus has always loved everybody, we too love, focusing our gaze on Him.

To the question “Why do you love?”, we will answer then by always saying, first of all to ourselves, “Because Jesus has loved us”, “Because Jesus has loved you and me too”. He is the one who takes the credit. By living this love for one another we will make Jesus' glory shine, and we will be recognised as His disciples. It is not our words or our prayers to show we are the Lord’s disciples, but the mutual communion which is uniting us in the way to talk too, in the way to pray, but above all in the serene and faithful openness to listen to one another, stand one another and help one another. To love “one another” is certainly a good thing, but it does cost us. This is the first suffering we offer to God so He may welcome us in His kingdom.

The troubles of mutual love will be light and will fill us with joy, the joy that will be able to dry the tears of all the other sufferings, the ones coming from those who are gossiping about us and those who are behaving unfairly against our faith. So we will realise we are citizens of the city which comes from above, the city which embodies on earth the new heaven and the new earth which Jesus speaks of in the vision that surprises John while he is being persecuted in the island of Patmos.