May 6, 2018
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology
click here for photo and information about the writer

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 56

Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 John 4:7-10
John 15: 9-17

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The Servant Girl At Emmaus

Feeling Our Hearts Burn With Hope

There seems to be a tension in the readings for day that I have often sensed in the New Testament.  Tensions in the Bible sometimes cause us to pick the parts that make the most sense to us and ignore the rest.  But sometimes they cause us to consider that the tensions are not really in the messages, but in our abilities to receive them in their complexity.  The tensions are inside of us. 

That is what I find in the readings for today.  There are two themes: 1) we are all human beings and God shows no partiality among those who act uprightly; 2) some are the chosen ones.  I do think those tensions appear elsewhere in the Bible.  In fact, so much so that some Christians think that you must be a Christian of a certain sort who obeys specific narrow rules to be saved.  They feel so strongly about that they feel they are obliged to condemn those who are not among their ranks.  They think that is their calling. 

Well, the lessons for today clearly argue against that way of seeing the world.  Not only does God not show partiality to anyone who is acceptable to him, he is clear about what is acceptable.  It isn’t labels and laws.  It is about love!  There should be a t-shirt out there that says:

It isn’t about Labels and Laws

It’s All About Love

And that t-shirt is what we should be wearing as we go out into the world.  Yes, we are called to baptize, but we shouldn’t invite others to baptism without love.  We can’t praise the wondrous deeds the Lord does for us and for others without love.  We can’t be a witness to God’s love without loving others.  We can’t follow the commandments without love.  We can’t keep Jesus in our hearts without love.  And we can’t go out and bear fruit that will remain without love.  We can’t ask the Father for whatever we need if we do not know of God’s love for us.  Hearing that we are called and sent is not enough. We must remain focused on our response to God’s great love for us.  We are called and sent to share God’s love for us with others.  It is all summed up with one commandment:

                                                           “Love One Another!” 

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