This Sunday's Readings
Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27
Paul and Barnabas proclaim the good news in many places.
A song of praise to God.
John describes his vision of a new heaven and a new earth.
Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment: love one another.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today's Gospel again comes from the Gospel of John. Like last week, today we hear words spoken by Jesus before his death and Resurrection. Jesus is teaching at the Last Supper.
John's Gospel does not include an institution of the Eucharist narrative; instead, Jesus washes his disciples' feet. Immediately after, Jesus predicts his betrayal by Judas. Today's Gospel follows that prediction. It can be read as a continuing explanation of Jesus' act of washing his disciples' feet. It begins with the announcement that this is the moment when the Son of Man will be glorified. This theme continues throughout John's Passion. Jesus will be glorified in his death on the cross and in his Resurrection, and the disciples will glorify Jesus in the love they show.
John's Gospel does not present a sentimental view of love. This is a type of love that is shown in service and sacrifice. It is difficult to choose to love when faced with hatred and anger. Jesus tells the disciples that all will know that they are his disciples because of the love they show for one another. This description of the early Christian community will be repeated in the Acts of the Apostles: “See how they love one another.” Christian love is the hallmark of Christianity. We see it lived in the witness of the martyrs. We see it in the example of the lives of the saints. We see it in the holy women and men who live and love daily, making small and large sacrifices for others.