How will we be saved?
6th Sunday of Easter (year A)
The gospel of the 6th Sunday of Easter is about love and the commandments of the Lord. In the cathedral church I celebrated holy Mass in English, prepared by El Shaddai community. Fr. Ruben Torres, spiritual leader of the community concelebrated.
The celebration can be seen on channel ‘Kathedraal TV’ (link here at the left).
Love and commandments
“If you love me,
you will keep my commandments. (...)
Whoever loves me
will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him... “,
says the Lord.
It was at the Last Supper
that Jesus said this.
He spoke about love
and He expressed His love
by washing the feet of his disciples
and by giving Himself
in the holy Eucharist.
Not without sacrifices
Today’s gospel is about love.
And love is what we most desire.
But love is not just words and feelings,
love is not a fairy-tale kind of thing
but it is keeping the commandments.
You show your love
through your deeds.
There is no love
without suffering and sacrifices.
A woman who is supporting her husband
who is growing demented:
that is love!
A young man who is visiting each Saturday
old people who are lonely
and homeless people on the streets,
that is love, love and charity!
A mother and father trying to be close
to their daughter in the hospital,
that is love!
An old farmer coming to church every day,
who is just sitting there in silence
in the presence of the Lord,
that too is love!
"Tell me, Lord"
If you love the Lord
and keep his commandments,
he will give you a Helper,
the holy Spirit,
who is called “the spirit of truth”.
So, please start loving the Lord,
with the desire
not to follow your own path, your own ideas,
but love Him with an open mind,
prepared to keep his commandments,
that is: not only the ten commandments,
but also what you feel He is asking from you.
If you have an open mind and an open spirit
- “tell me, Lord” -
the holy Spirit will reveal you the truth
and the Lord will show you
how to go on, what road to take, what to do
because you come to know Him.
The more you know Him,
the better you can see
what He is working in your life.
trying to be a good person,
who practices the faith
through acts of charity.
A Russian story
I like to tell you an old Russian story:
A very old lady passed away,
but nobody regretted her decease,
because she had alway been mean,
selfish and very unpleasant.
Nobody could remember him- or herself
that she ever did good to any other person.
So, she died
and she found herself in an abyss
together with many other
Far away, in the air,
she saw the gates of heaven
and people entering there with joy.
Now she became anxious.
Could she be saved?
Her guardian angel came
in front of the Lord’s throne
and the Lord God asked him:
“Did she never ever did some good?
Was there really no act of love whatsoever?”
The guardian angel
gave it a thought,
he racked his memory.
Finally he said:
“Yes, there was!
Once she gave
a flower from her garden
to a girl passing by”.
“Maybe this flower
can save her”
the merciful Lord said.
“Pull her out of the pit
with that flower”.
The angel went to the abyss,
gave her one side of that flower
and started to pull her up
and really the angel seemed
to succeed in doing so.
Slowly the woman was lifted up, up, up,
but other people seeing this
grabbed her feet,
because they too
wanted to leave this terrible abyss.
The woman became angry:
“This is my flower,
you don’t have any right,
go away, go away”, she cried
and she started to kick,
to get rid of them.
the holy Spirit came down,
the Spirit of truth, our Advocate:
“Love will save you”, he said,
“only love will save you, acts of love.
Jesus is just love and mercy,
whoever loves Him
will be loved by His Father”.
The woman hesitated a little,
than she came to let it all happen
and together with her
many more were saved.
This old Russian story,
which I adapted a little,
makes clear to us
how important our good deeds,
our love and charity are.
If you say: I have faith in you, O Lord,
you have to show it.
True love is not just a word without meaning,
not just a nice feeling
but it is love as an act,
it is the fulfilling
of the commandments of the Lord,
it is living with a clear conscience
and an open mind
for what the Lord may ask from you.
The saving power of charity
Our good and charitable deeds
will save us,
of course with the help of God’s grace,
but through these acts of love
we come to know the Lord better
and love Him more dearly;
we spread goodness,
and the merits of our loving deeds
will save many others as well.