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Homilies/Reflections

GOD HAS NO FAVORITES. A reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter, Year B.
By Fr. Donatus Okeke
Mon, 10 May 2021

Readings: Acts 10:25-26.34-35.44-48; 1 John 4:7-10; Gospel: John 15:9-17
 
God has no favorites. He is not partial. His love is universal; he freely gives to all irrespective of whom you are. We are all created with equal opportunities to better ourselves. All we need to do is to obey God’s commandment (abiding in his love). The readings of today proffer answer to the problems of inequalities and hardships in our society today. These inequalities are man-made and not created by God. As a result of selfishness and self-centeredness, the world’s resources are unevenly distributed – what is made for the whole is seized by a part. On another note, as a result of disobedience to the commandment of God, the individual deprives himself of God’s love and care.
 
God shows no Partiality:
 
The First Reading recorded the account of the baptism of Cornelius and his entire household. In his preaching, Peter argued that God’s love is for every nation. God shows no partiality – He accepts anyone who fears him and does the right thing. As a confirmation of the preaching of Peter, all those who listened to Peter, received the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we must treat one another equally. Also, our love for one another must be devoid of any affiliation, party, colour, gender, language or religion.
 
Love one another as I have loved you
 
In the Gospel, Jesus makes a step forward in the well-known law of: “love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Mk. 12:31). He uses himself as a yardstick for measuring what true love entails. The idea of loving one another as oneself; reduces love to the level of subjectivism. Also, it will not be out of place if we say that some people do not love themselves. What happens in such a case?
We now ask ourselves: how did Jesus love? We find direct answers to this from the Gospel.
 
1. Sacrificial love - being able to lay down one’s life. A love that thinks less of the self.  A love that demands that we let go of certain pleasures for the betterment of others. 
2. Love between friends and not love between master and slave. A friend has some privileges above a servant. The servant has no time of his own. A servant often works for duty-sake whereas friend work for love-sake. Friendship demands openness and trust. The servant often has lots of things to hide from the master. Jesus has made everything known to us and that is why he calls us friends. 
3. Unconditional love. A love that knows no barrier. A love that is bereft of sentiments and particularity.
 
God is Love
 
St. John in the Second Reading affirms that God is love. Love made him to send his only begotten son to save us. We must therefore love one another, for it is only through this way, that we show that we know God. Our society today is in need of genuine love.
 
Beloved in Christ, we are called to love one another as Christ loved us. For a better society, we need to think less of ourselves. Let us love like God, the impartial lover, who makes his sun shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and those who do evil (Matt. 5:45).
May God help us!!!
 

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