Liturgy of the Sunday

Share On

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Today the Gypsy people, including those of Islamic faith, celebrate Saint George (+303 ca), who died a martyr to free the Church.


First Reading

Acts 10,25-26.34-35.44-48

and as Peter reached the house Cornelius went out to meet him, fell at his feet and did him reverence. But Peter helped him up. 'Stand up,' he said, ' after all, I am only a man!' Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really understand', he said, 'that God has no favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on gentiles too, since they could hear them speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God. Peter himself then said, 'Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?' He then gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards they begged him to stay on for some days.

Psalmody

Psalm 97

Antiphon

Shout and sing praises to the Lord.

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.

The lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.

He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our god.

Shout to the Lord all the earth,
ring out your joy.

Sing Psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the Kind, the Lord.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.

Let the river clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy

at the presence of the Lord : for he comes,
he comes to rule the earth.

He will rule with the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.

Second Reading

1 John 4,7-10

My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love. This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15,9-17

I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

"Let us love one another." This is the imperative that the apostle John never tires of addressing to his community. He knows how important love is in the life of every Christian community, because he learned it directly from Jesus and had a concrete experience of his love. Holy Scripture is, in fact, none other than a narrative of the history of God's love for humanity. Page after page, we discover a God who finds no rest until he finds repose in the heart of each person. We could paraphrase the sentence that Saint Augustine wrote about man: "Inquietum est cor meum..." (N.o.T. My heart is restless). Davide Maria Turoldo spoke of the "restless heart of God," who descended to earth to seek out and save that which had been lost, to give life to whom had lost it. God is one who becomes a beggar, a beggar for love. In truth, while God extends His hand to ask for love, He gives His love to humanity.
This is Christian love: A God who descends freely into the trenches of the lives of all people to reach out to his beloved. Yes, God is restless until he finds us, until he touches our heart. And God was so restless "that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16).
If the entirety of Scripture is the history of God's love on earth, then the Gospels are its culmination. Therefore, if we want to utter something about God's love, if we want to give it a face and a name, we can say that love is Jesus. Love is everything that Jesus said, lived, did, loved, suffered... Love is seeking out the sick, it is having friends who are notorious sinners and Samaritans, people who are considered remote, an enemy and rejected. Love is giving one's life for all; it is remaining alone so as not to betray the Gospel; it is having as a first companion in paradise a man condemned to death, the penitent thief. Jesus gave us an example of this with his own life. He was able to say to his disciples: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love" (Jn 15:9).
The existing relationship between the Father and the Son is the model and source of Christian love. Certainly, such a love could not come from us. We can, however, receive it from God. And, if we receive it, this love generates an abundant, universal fellowship that knows no enemies. It gives rise to a new community of men and women, where God's love crosses over—even identifies with—the mutual love between people. One, in fact, is the cause of the other. A well-known Russian theologian used to love to say, "Do not allow your soul to forget this saying of the ancient spiritual masters: after God, regard every person as God!" This type of love is the distinctive sign of whoever is born of God. But this love is not a possession that one can acquire once and for all, nor is it the birth right of this or that group. God's love does not know any limits or borders of any kind. It goes beyond space and time. It shatters every ethnic, cultural and national barrier. It even breaks through the barrier of faith, as one reads in the Acts of the Apostles when the Holy Spirit filled the house of the pagan Cornelius. Agape is eternal; everything passes, even faith and hope, but love remains forever. Not even death can break it for love is stronger than death. Jesus can rightfully conclude: "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete" (Jn 15:11).