Sunday Reading Reflections – April 28, 2013

Rachel Rosenthal
Sunday Reading Reflections
Sunday, April 18, 2013

Jesus asks so little of us, yet in today’s world it is very easy to lose sight of what we as Catholics are called to do. Being a teenager, it is not uncommon for me to see people straying away from God’s Word. Girls often mention in class how they think there are too many rules connected with being a Catholic and they have trouble following all of them. The reading I chose to focus on from this week’s readings is the Gospel (John 13:31-33a, 34-35). This reading reminded me that even with all the distractions that come with being in high school exemplifying God’s Word is not hard at all. The Ten Commandments are the rules that I find are the hardest for me to follow, however this reading talks about the very simple commandment that Jesus himself directly gave to us.

Jesus commands us to love one another as he has loved us. This is one of the fundamental laws of God’s kingdom; it is right up there with the command of believing in Jesus Christ (Matthew Henry Commentary). This law has great importance to how we should be living our lives as Catholics, however; since the time of Moses it has been overlooked. As we studied the Old Testament we saw time after time again that people became so absorbed in violence, self-love, and revenge that the idea of loving others was non-existent. When Jesus tells the disciples of his commandment, he is really just renewing a law that was given to the people at the very beginning. “It is like an old book in a new edition corrected and enlarged,”(Matthew Henry Commentary). 

When I first read this reading I felt like the disciples in a way. The idea of loving others was renewed to me. Loving others is one of the very first things we are taught to do, but I never really think of it as a commandment that Jesus gave us. It’s empowering to know that just by helping others and showing people my love that I am doing Jesus’ will. Jesus tells us in the reading that everyone will know we are his disciples if we give others our love like he did. Like the people in the Old the Testament, I know that teenagers today are also guilty of things like jealousy and self-absorption and are influenced by the violence we see in our world. This reading is a really good reminder of how Jesus too had many distractions but that didn’t stop him from showing his love towards others.  Jesus is known for his great acts of love and if we, like Jesus, love one another people will know we are his followers. Brotherly love is the badge of Christ’s disciples (Matthew Henry Commentary).
Within the past couple of weeks and months there has been a lot of tragedy in our country. People often lose sight of what Jesus commands us to do and chaos results from that. Under all of the chaos and suffering however, with each tragic occurrence we see our country come together. Jesus’ commandment is renewed each time our country is at its lowest with there being an abundance of love and kindness towards others. People risk their lives, open their doors, and help the weak and suffering. These are the kinds of things Jesus did regularly, and we need to remember that this is what we too should be doing everyday. I feel that with each tragedy God is reminding us that our love should be never ending. “Our love to one another must be free and ready, laborious and expensive, constant and persevering; it must be love to the souls one of another,” (Matthew Henry Commentary).  

This reading has taught me that Jesus really asks so little of us. Being a disciple of Christ is easy if we always have our love ready to spread to others. Jesus will shine through us if we block out the distractions of our society. Jesus is our ultimate example of how to love and we need to make the decision to follow in his footsteps and wear the badge of Christ’s disciples.