Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 6, 2018)

In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus telling us to remain in His love. By remaining in His love we will learn to love one another. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Love causes us to be like what we love. We are given a natural inclination to love God. Moreover, we are commanded to love God and the things of God above all other things. Alas, we are like the eagles that have greater power of sight than flight. While we see how worthy of love God’s goodness is, we have less strength of will for loving it.

Yet, this human heart of ours is capable of producing certain beginnings of love for God. But to advance to the true maturity of love, that is, to love God and all the things of God, we need divine love. Through God’s goodness our spirits are raised up and united with God’s love. Overflowing with divine love, we come back to share this pure love with others.

To love God without loving the neighbor is impossible. God has chosen us as children and thus we must show that we are truly God’s children by our loving one another dearly in all goodness of heart. Our Savior, in coming into the world, raised our nature higher than all the angels and has made us so like Himself, that we can say that we resemble God perfectly. In becoming human, Our Lord has taken on our likeness and has given us His. Oh, how earnestly we ought to summon up our courage to live according to what we are! Imitate as perfectly as possible Him, who came into this world to teach us what we need to do: to preserve in ourselves this divine resemblance.

It is this divine resemblance only that we are called to love and honor in our neighbor. Is this not a powerful motive to have for loving each other? All nations, which have a union of hearts that reflect the image of God, will surely be filled with joy.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales).