Tag Archives: love one another

Love all the one anothers (Easter 6, 10 May 2015)

Readings
Acts 10.44–48
1 John 15.9–17

Love, and do what you will.—St Augustine, Homilies on 1 John VII:8

Before we go on today, I’d like you to close your eyes and be still. Just for a few moments… Ok, that’s fine.

I wonder what you were most aware of? Perhaps some of you just started to drift off. Others may have suddenly remembered they need to get milk on the way home. Yet others may have become more aware of their breathing.

Those last few may have also been more aware than usual of something we all take for granted. We are surrounded by air. It’s all around us.

I’m usually totally unaware of air unless I’m conscious of my breathing, or the winter westerlies are blowing, or there’s a cyclone.

But it’s there, all about me. And I am alive because of it. Continue reading

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Second Sunday of Easter (Year A, 1 May 2011)

The risen life: forgiving sins

Readings
1 Peter 1.3-9
John 20.19-31

There is something very puzzling in today’s Gospel reading. Do you know what I mean? It’s this: the risen Lord Jesus says,

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

That could sound like we have the authority to determine which sins can be forgiven and which cannot. And it seems that is the way the Roman Catholic system of confession to a priest works. A Catholic priest has the authority to forgive the sins of those who come to him—or not to forgive them. In other words he has the authority to retain them. Is that what this means? I hope not.

Perhaps there are other ways of interpreting this saying. I think there are…

But firstly, the Catholic Church is right; only a priest can forgive sins. But the Catholic Church is also wrong, because we are a priestly community. Friends, each one of us is given authority to forgive others. You can say, ‘I forgive you’ to another person. And you know, when you do that, you are being a ‘priest’.

A priest is someone who links other people to God; it’s what a priest does and is. So we are a priestly community. We who make up the Body of Christ are a priesthood because we connect others to God.

So praying for others is a priestly thing to do. It’s priestly because we link another person to God through our prayer.

We especially link another person to God when we forgive them. And guess what?—we also link ourselves more firmly to God. It’s just the Lord’s Prayer in action:

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.

A community that has the risen Lord Jesus in its midst is a forgiving, priestly community. Its members connect one another to God through forgiving, accepting and praying for one another.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter (Easter 5)

Love one another

Reading
John 13.31-35

In today’s Gospel Reading, Jesus says,

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

The ‘new commandment’ is ‘Love one another.’ That’s nice, isn’t it? That’s really lovely.

But let’s set the scene. Jesus and the disciples are gathered together, but not at any old time; it’s the night before the crucifixion. I say, ‘Jesus and the disciples’ are there, but there is one who is missing. Judas. He has gone out. What we read is this:

Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor.

We know why Judas has gone out. But let’s imagine we’re hearing this story for the first time. Sometimes, we can learn new things that way. Continue reading

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