5th Sunday of Easter (Year C) - 15 May

15th May 2022
5th Sunday of Easter (Year C) - 15 May
A reflection on today's gospel reading by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"If His [Christ’s] death would be glorifying, it must have been because something would be done by it which was not accomplished by His words, miracles, and His healing of the sick. All through His life He had been trying to communicate His love for mankind, but it was not until His Body, like the alabaster box, would be broken, that the perfume of His love would pervade the universe. He said also that, in His Cross, God the Father was glorified. This was because His Father did not spare His own Son, but offered Him to save man. He put a new meaning into His death, namely, from His Cross would beam forth the pity and the pardon of God.
"Love is the normal relation of branches to one another, because all are rooted in the vine. There were to be no limits to His love. Peter once set a limit to love when he asked how many times he should forgive. Was it seven? Our Lord told him seventy times seven, which implied infinity and denied any mathematical calculation. There are to be no limits to their mutual love, for they must all ask themselves, what was the limit of His love? He had no limit, for He came to lay down His life.
"Only through death for others could He show love. His death would not be like the death of one man out of love for another, or like a soldier for his country, because the man who saves others must die eventually anyway. However great the sacrifice, it would be a premature payment of a debt that had to be paid. But in the case of Our Saviour, He need not have died at all. No one could take away His life from Him. Though He called those for whom He died 'friends,' the friendship was all on His side and not on ours, for as sinners we were enemies. John later on expressed it well when he said that He died for us while we were yet sinners.
"Sinners can show a love for one another by taking the punishment which another deserves. But Our Blessed Lord was not only taking the punishment but also taking the guilt as if it were His own. Furthermore, this death that He was about to die would be quite different from the death of martyrs for His cause, since they have the example of His death and the expectancy of the glory which He promised. But to die upon the Cross without a pitying eye, to be surrounded by a multitude who mocked Him, and to die without being obliged to die - such was the peak of love.
"John would paraphrase what he heard that night, as he leaned against the heart of Christ: 'God has proved His love to us by laying down His life for our sakes; We too must be ready to lay down our lives for the sake of our brethren.' (1 John 3:16)." (Life of Christ)
Easter Blessing Prayer for Families
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 🙏💖💐

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