Categories: HomiliesPublished On: April 18th, 2021Tags: , 487 words14.8 min read
A New Commandment

Here are links to our readings for the day:

A New Commandment

Today’s gospel from Luke is remarkably like the gospel of John which we listened to last Sunday. Luke and John are writing to communities that have much the same background. Most of the people are going to be converts to the new faith. But there is something different in the gospel of Luke. The overall theme for all the readings today are forgiveness of sins. Perhaps these readings should have been used for Lent, but I think they are right for Easter, too.

When Jesus began His teaching, His message was one of forgiveness and mercy. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment? He responded you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Jesus did not stop there but also said you are to love your neighbor as yourself.

We might think this is a new commandment, but we can find both commandments in Leviticus. Some people have suggested that it is new commandment because Jesus combined two of the commandments. I would propose that Jesus is teaching the meaning of the covenant the people have with God. He is reminding them of their promise to love and serve God. Jesus knows that when His hour comes, they will run away in fear. Again, we have broken God’s covenant.

After the resurrection, Jesus modifies the covenant in a special way. Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit. This will strengthen His people in faith. Then Jesus establishes the new covenant when He says you are to love one another as I have loved you. This takes us to a deeper level of faith. We are to continue to love God and our neighbor, but not how I would love them but how Jesus loves them. This means always with a spirit of forgiveness and love, mercy and understanding. We are to love as Jesus loves.

We do not have the ability to do this on our own. Rather, we need to be strengthened by the Eucharist, prayer, and confession. When we take Jesus into us at communion, we are also taken within Him, we become one with Him. This is how we learn to love as Jesus does. As we are human, we will make mistakes, but Jesus provides confession for us to reconcile ourselves back into the life of Jesus. And we must always remember, how this happens is still a mystery that we will not ever fully understand. So, we still proclaim “Jesus I trust in you. You are my Lord and my God”.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen