Reflection for May 15, 2022 – 5th Sunday in Easter

May 9, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“I give you a new commandment: Love one another.”

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” We celebrate our “New Eternal Life” in Christ during the Easter Season. At the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, this “New Eternal Life” began for us when Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. In a very real way, we celebrate Christ’s own Resurrection in our own lives, when we receive His risen Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Our eternal life in Christ, which began at our baptisms, is nourished by His very Body and Blood that has risen from the dead.

We experienced this eternal nourishment for the first time, in our First Holy Communion. We have come to expect to receive Jesus when we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I think that each of us remembers our own First Holy Communion. Mine, like many children, started with First Confession, that we now call First Reconciliation.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we again received the same spotless souls that we received at our Baptisms. The Sacrament of Reconciliation prepares us to receive the greatest gift of God’s love that we can receive, God Himself, in the Eucharist.

Out of His great love for us, Jesus willingly died so that we can have Eternal Life and be nourished by Him in the Eucharist. Jesus nourishes us in the Eucharist so that we, as His disciples, can share the love He gives us with others. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

What does it mean for us today to “love one another”? Are we willing to meet someone who un-expectantly comes into our lives, and to help him or her to put on the spotless white garment of God’s love, by the love we show that person? When we do, we show our love for Christ, by acting like Christ. When we do, we show the person we help, that we are Christians. When we do, we live Christ’s commandment, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”

Receiving Christ in the Eucharist means that He becomes part of us, and we become part of Him. Jesus gives each of us His strength in the Eucharist to be His disciples, because the Eucharist strengthens us to “have love for one another.”

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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