Thought of the day
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year B
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“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Live on in my love.”

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermons on St. John, no. 65

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Live on in my love.”

The Lord Jesus affirms that he is giving his disciples a new commandment: that of mutual love… Did this commandment not already exist in the Old Law, since it is written: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18)? So why does the Lord call "new" a commandment that was so obviously old? Is it a new commandment because, in stripping us of the old man, he clothes us with the new one (Eph 4:24)? Certainly, the person who listens to this commandment, or rather, who obeys it, is not renewed by just any love but by the love that the Lord carefully distinguishes from purely natural love, when he says, “as I have loved you.” … Christ gave us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. This is the love that renews us, that makes us into new persons, heirs to the new covenant, singers of the “new song” (Ps 96:1).

Dearly beloved, this love renewed even the righteous ones of past times, the patriarchs and the prophets, just as it later renewed the holy apostles. It is the love that now renews the pagan nations. This love raises up and gathers together a new people from the entire human race scattered over the whole earth, the body of the new Spouse of the Son of God.

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