The challenge to love in words and deeds
6th Sunday of Easter A (John 14:15-21)
May 21, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
PROFESSION of our faith and our love for Christ in words is good and needed. But along with the words—and even more important than they—there should be a profession of faith and love for him through our lives.
Actions speak louder than words. The world is filled with crowd-drawing speakers and charismatic preachers, but it is always in dire need of real, consistent Christians. For most of us, an authentic Christian life is the only profession of love for Christ we can offer, and the only one which most people are inclined to accept. The testing ground of our love for Christ is not so much the pulpit, or the microphone of a Radio or TV station or a website. It is especially our behavior—the way we relate to God and respond to the needs of our fellows human beings, be they near us or far away . . . .
To respond to Christ’s love for us throughout our life, in constant faithfulness (and not just occasionally), is a daunting task. And we are weak. We often falter and fall! Jesus knew it, and that was why he promised his disciples (and us) that he would not leave them/us orphaned (Jn 14:18). He promised to stay with his disciples/us to the very end to guide and support us. (See Mt 28:20.)
Jesus’ presence is made operative in our existence through the action of the Spirit, the supreme Gift of the Risen Lord. Life may get hard for us. We may be misunderstood or even persecuted because of our faithfulness to God. This already happened to Jesus. At the Last Supper he stated: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (Jn 15:20). It will surely happen to us if we remain faithful to him. Then it will be helpful to remember the saying of Peter: “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” (See today’s Second Reading, v. 17).
Occasional failures may occur, but a real disciple keeps rising and forging ahead, in spite of all difficulties from within and from without. In the midst of all difficulties, we should keep in mind Jesus’ wonderful promise: “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him . . . and we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him. (See Jn 14:21.23.) This will make our earthly life a foretaste of heaven – a unique privilege reserved for those who really love Christ and show it by the way they live.
These are words worth remembering and believing. Their fulfillment will make our life the greatest success ever.