Reflection for 6th Sunday of Easter, 2024 Year B

Reflection for 6th Sunday of Easter, 2024 Year B

May 6, 2024 | Reflections

In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that we prove our love for God by obedience to the Commandments. This passage is part of the Last Supper discourse where he gives us the New Commandment: 

Love one another as I have loved you….what I command you is to love one another.

Love is self-giving, the greater self-giving, the greater the love. St Paul gives the attributes of love: 

Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful. It is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it does not rejoice at wrong; but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things ……love never ends (1 Cor 13: 4-8).

Due to our fallen nature, our internal hard drive keeps wanting to go back to the default setting of self-centredness. To overcome this, we must exercise love and concern for others. The love is exercised, the more love grows. St John of the Cross said:

Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.

We have the help of the Holy Spirit and sanctifying grace received regularly through the Sacrament of Love, the Eucharist. This is God’s favourite channel of grace.

Jesus accepted mockery, humiliation, rejection, torture in self-sacrificial generosity, to show what love really is. However, many Catholics still live their lives depending on their own power, without depending on God’s grace. They eventually get stuck and frustrated. They either stop growing in virtue or are unable to overcome some sinful habit. Imagine a tree that only had roots and a trunk, but no branches and no leaves. It wouldn’t live very long. It would absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil, but without leaves that spread out to catch the rays of the sunlight, it would receive no energy to turn that moisture and those nutrients into growth and fruitfulness.  Jesus is the sunlight that gives life and energy to our spiritual efforts. He does this especially through the Eucharist. Great saints of the Church received their power to love through the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  For example, St Teresa of Calcutta believed that her power to love the poor came from the Eucharistic Jesus. She gave a speech to those assembled for the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976, and reiterated this simple fact. 

To be able to live this life of vows, these four vows, we need our life to be woven with the Eucharist. That’s why we begin our day with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. With Him, we go forward. And when we come back in the evening, we have one hour of adoration before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and at this you will be surprised, that we have not had to cut down our work for the poor.

Each Sunday at the 9.30am Mass in the Divine Mercy Shrine we use incense. During the Mass, the sweet smell of the burning incense rises us towards Heaven. It is a symbol of our prayers as we lift them up to God during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But the little grains of incense can’t turn themselves into sweet-smelling smoke. It is only when they are placed on top of red-hot burning coals that their sweetness is released. Then their full potential is reached. We are like that, it is only when our lives are put into direct contact with God’s burning love for us in the Eucharist, that we reach our full potential and are able with the help of Sanctifying Grace, to love selflessly. Prayer paves the way for everything we do. We were reminded on the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on Wednesday, that even our work can become a prayer. God has given dignity to human work. If we work for our employer to the best of our ability, with a spirit of service and love, we carry on the work of creation. 

We now living the month of May, consecrated to Our Lady. She has asked for us to give her Rosaries, said with greater intensity and more frequently. Our Heavenly Mother has described it as a weapon to be used in the battle against Satan. It is golden chain which binds us to her Heart. It is a lightening conductor which deflects evil and protects families from division and misfortune. As the late and Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton said: 

A family that prays together, stays together. A family at prayer, is a family at peace. 

Our Lady, through Venerable Sister Lucia of Fatima called for Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. 

My Heart is the sure refuge for the times which you are living.

It is through a tender devotion to Our Lady that she gently leads us into the life of the Divine Will, which a the greatest of all gifts, and the one lost by Adam and Eve in the Fall.  Jesus, through Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta has revealed that this gift is now being restored to humanity.

Therefore, through the Eucharist, devotion to Our Lady, carrying out our daily duties well and growing in knowledge of and living in the Divine Will, we can reach out full potential as children of God.

One final thing the Church has always recommended is a daily examination of conscience at night before bedtime. Through this we can identify any defects or weakness and try to improve next day. This also helps us prepare for Confession. Finally, we should also remember that Sunday Mass is the highlight of our week and to wear our Sunday best, to meet our King in His Sacrament of Love. Praise be Jesus now and forever!