6th Sunday of Easter
Acts 10:25-26,34-25,44-48 II:
1 John 4:7-10
9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I
have kept my Father's commandments and abide in love.
11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and
that your joy may be complete.
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved
13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not
know what the Master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I
have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go
and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you
whatever you ask him in my name.
17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
- This week's reading continues the "true vine" analogy of last week,
and together they (this week's and last week's readings, Jn 15:1-17)
further explain the love within the Christian community, the early
church. The concept of love plays a central role in the Fourth Gospel.
- It is difficult to make sense and connect the various ideas: the
vine, bearing fruit, love, friendship, prayer, obedience, being chosen,
and joy. Rather than trying to force the logical connection, it might be
beneficial to reflect on the images, especially the vine and its branches.
- As typical in John, this passage repeats and expands on Jn 13:34-35:
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have
loved you, you also should love on another. By this everyone will know
that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
- Inevitably we will ask "what does it mean to love?" Biblical love is
not sentimental attitude, rather the willingness to keep Jesus' words, to
sacrifice to the extent of lay down one's life.
- One of the key words is abide (or remain): abide in my love (v. 9).
The disciples abide in Jesus' love is parallel to the branches remain
connected to the vine. These images of unity culminated in Jesus'
prayer: "that they may be one" (17:11).
- As we reflect on the mysterious love between the Father and Jesus,
between Jesus and the believers, between the believers and the Father, we
are reminded of the calling (I chose you) to participate in this divine
love. So the command to love one another is to share God's love.
One Main Point
"Love one another as I have loved you." This love
is beautifully demonstrated in Jesus' willingness to lay down his life
on our behalf. By loving each other, we remain in Jesus' love.
- As we meditate on the image of the vine, or on the word "abide", how
is this reflecting your own community? Do you belong to any believing
community? Who are the members? What does this community mean to you?
- Love is not a word but an action. What are some of the problems in
your community? Misunderstanding? How does a loving action bring the
- Reflect on an experience of being loved by someone, recall the
happiness, how is this experience a manifestation of Jesus' love?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community