It could not be any clearer . . . or simpler: This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Thank you, Lord. I need to hear this message — again and again. And I’ve been your disciple for far longer than three years, as have all of our readers.
But I confess I am still stuck in Lent, thinking about all the suffering in the world. So many children are dying from bombs, malnutrition, forced migration, and gun violence. Communities and peoples suffer injustice, poverty, marginalization, and disrespect for life. Suffering and death surround us – personally, locally, and globally.
Next week begins the sixth week of Easter, and after that, the seventh. All of this is to remind us that the season of Easter is longer than the season of Lent. So we sing alleluia! Amid all the bad news that never seems to go away, Jesus urges us with a simple Easter message: love one another; serve one another. And there’s more: Jesus says, I call you friends. I will be with you.
So place on the Table at the Eucharist all the things that worry, frighten, or anger you and what you and I contribute to the chaos, and let Jesus transform us and fill us with Easter joy. I call you friends.
Let us pray with the Psalmist: I will sing and chant praise. Awake my soul,
Let Us Pray:
I will give you thanks, O LORD. For my heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn. I will chant your praise among the nations, for your mercy towers to the heavens and your faithfulness to the skies.