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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, May 13, 2012

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

May 13, Sixth Sunday of Easter

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48

Psalm 98:1-4

2) 1 John 4:7-10

Gospel: John 15:9-17

Sid had been out of work for some time. He had sent off countless resumes and been to a number of interviews. His friend Al knew about Sid's predicament and also knew that there were some job openings at his place of employment, so he invited Sid to come to work with him to inquire about a job.

When they arrived, Al went in to see his boss and asked if he would be open to talking to Sid about a job. His boss looked through the window, saw that Sid was a black man and said, "We don't hire that kind here." Sid did not know what was being said in the office, but when Al came out he told Sid, "I guess we're both looking for a job." When Al heard such a bigoted statement from his boss, he had quit on the spot.

In this week's Gospel, Jesus calls us all to love each other as he has loved us. He goes on to say that the greatest measure of love is to lay down your life for a friend. Then he looks at his disciples and says, "I have called you friends." Jesus gives us the prime example of love by laying his life down for us all.

I have always liked that story from John's Gospel but wondered if I ever would be in a situation where I would have the choice to lay down my life for a friend. But the story of Sid and Al revealed to me that laying down my life could have many forms.

Jesus calls us to love one another as he loves us, that is, completely, without thought of self, pride or wanting something in return. I have heard love defined as "wanting the good for another and being willing to do what it takes to make that good happen." This definition of love has nothing to do with feelings, but everything to do with actions, and it is exactly the kind of love Al had for Sid and Jesus has for all of us.


Have you, or someone you know, ever done something extreme out of love for a friend or family member? What are some ways we can lay down our lives for our friends in everyday life?


"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).


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