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May 14, 2023 – 6th Sunday of Easter (Cycle A, Yr. I)

Community Word: Jesus Christ, our Lord, is the way to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Theme: We follow Jesus as the way to the Father, when we love Him by keeping His commandments.
Promise: “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” (Jn 14:21b)
Our theme for the 6th Sunday of Easter tells us that the way to the Father is to love Jesus by keeping and obeying His commandments. We are encouraged to love Him deeply and to obey Him more faithfully by relying upon His power in our lives. The deeper our intimacy with Jesus, the greater will be His impact on our lives and our ability to spread His word. An intimate relationship with Jesus leads to a devoted and joyful obedience.
In our Sunday Gospel reading, Jesus revealed biblical principles to guide His disciples towards deeper communion of life and love with him. These principles are timely guides for us in the BLD Community as we chart our way forward from internal and external difficulties, past and present, that beset us, towards our vision of building a more vibrant, enduring BLD communion and an abundantly fruitful global mission empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The first principle is articulated in the introduction to our worship theme: Obedience and love go together; obedience is a proof of love, a fruit and effect of love. We glean this from the statement of Jesus, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” (Jn 14:15) wherein the Lord unequivocally predicates our obedience to our love for Him, for His commandment is the commandment of love for God, others and self.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “to obey in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself” (CCC144). “By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer” (CCC143). Obedience is not a limitation of freedom, but by our obedience to God, we become sharers in the redemptive grace won by Christ, bringing us to the freedom as sons and daughters of God who partake in His divine life.
Regarding obedience to our leaders, our obedience to leadership is founded on our love of God, by whose authority leaders are chosen and given the responsibility and accountability to watch over the Lord’s flock. We obey our leaders, because together with them, we have been entrusted with and participate in the work of the Lord (cf. Heb 13:17).
The second biblical principle is: Love supports obedience; in turn, obedience begets love. Jesus promised, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you.…” (Jn 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit, God’s gift of love, is our Comforter, Teacher and Defender. The Holy Spirit will teach and remind us of the sacrificial love of Christ and empower us to respond to that pure and unconditional love by loving and being present to one another, just as Christ loved His Church and His disciples. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to be the energy and staying power in our life of faith.
The third biblical principle is: Through our obedience, God fortifies our communion and mission with His presence and empowerment. Jesus promised: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you,” (Jn 14:18). Jesus keeps this promise of eternal life to us in the Holy Eucharist where He comes to us in His risen presence to be our strength and continuing spiritual sustenance. In the Eucharist, Jesus is present to us no matter what situation or circumstance we may face. “The world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live,” (Jn 14:19). The Lord promises that those who love and obey Him will have a clean heart and they are blessed for they will see God (cf. Mt 5:8). Moreover, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, those who love and obey Him will live in newness of life (cf. Rom 6:4). By our love and obedience, the world will see God’s living presence in our community.
To faithfully obey the Lord’s commandments, we need to commit ourselves to knowing Jesus more, to following His teachings, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into Christ’s likeness. Pope Francis gives an insight on the importance of obedience to our transformation: “Whoever follows Jesus takes the path of obedience, which means lowering, emptying and humbling oneself like Jesus…lowering oneself in service…and becoming a servant in order to serve.” Jesus promises us, “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him,” (Jn 14:21b).
Lord, like the blind man, give me Your light so that I may see You in my heart. In the name of Jesus, may we join our hearts, minds and gifts together to build Your reign, that Your light may shine not only in the places where we live and work, but far beyond, shining brightly as we share, give personal witness to, and proclaim the Good News of Your saving power to all nations. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. In what ways can you reveal God’s love in your family, workplace and our community?
  2. What are your struggles in keeping God’s commandments and how do you plan to overcome them?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    May 14, 2023 (Sun) – Acts 8:5-8,14-17/ Ps 66:1-7, 14, 20/ 1Pt 3:15-18/Jn1 4:15-21
    May 15, 2023 (Mon) – Acts 16:11-15/ Ps 149:1-6, 9/ Jn 15:26-16:4
    May 16, 2023 (Tues) – Acts 16:22-34/ Ps 138:1-3, 7, 8/ Jn 16:5-11
    May 17, 2023 (Wed) – Acts 17:15, 22-18:1/ Ps 148:1, 2, 11,-14/ Jn 16:12-15
    May 18, 2023 (Thur) – Acts 18:1-8/ Ps 98:1-4/ Jn 16:16-20
    May 19, 2023 (Fri) – Acts 18:9-18/ Ps 47:2-7/ Jn 16:20-23
    May 20, 2023 (Sat) – Acts 18:23-28/ Ps 47:2, 3, 8-10/ Jn 16:23-28
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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