One Love

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Love is most probably the word which is most used and sung about. Today, Jesus tells us to love one another. However, Jesus qualifies the type of love we need to show. We are to love, in the same way he loved. Jesus’ love for us, led him to give his life for us and he died on the cross. Jesus gave us all that he had. Moreover, Jesus loves everyone. Jesus’ love is not based on conditions. It is selfless and it is founded on service. His love shows us in a visible way, God’s love. 

Love is a daily challenge, especially when we are to love someone who according to us is undeserving. The love Jesus wishes us to show, is not based on feelings. We show love in the way we behave; we show love in our actions. Love requires sacrifice. 

What Jesus is asking, goes against our nature. We love those who love us. Instinct tells us to get back at those who hurt us. We can only do what Jesus is asking from us, with his help. It is impossible to do it on our own. We need to trust him more. We need to regularly participate in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession. These give us the help we need. The Holy Spirit that we received in Baptism and Confirmation, is the Spirit which Jesus gives us so that we can be united with Him and the Father and be capable to love as He did. The Holy Spirit gives us courage and the strength to go against the dictates of the world and live according to God’s will.

The Gospel starts with a reference to Judas. Judas is the one who let greed blind him. Instead of love he showed hatred. He repaid Jesus’ love with betrayal. Imagine what Jesus felt when he saw Judas leave! Jesus knew what he was going to do. Instead of using words of loathing, Jesus spoke to the apostles about love. Even during that moment, when someone who lived with him, betrayed him, Jesus showed us what it means to love. Let us pray that we do not allow temptations to darken our way and lead us away from the love God is offering us.

A reading from the Gospel of John (Jn 13, 31-33a, 34-35) 

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. The love Jesus is speaking about, is clearly explained in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Read 1 Corinthians 13, 4-7. Instead of the word love, insert your name. In which areas do you need to improve, so that your love resembles more, the love of Jesus?
  4. Is there someone, whom you are finding it difficult to love? Remember that Jesus died for this person too. If you are finding it difficult to forgive, ask for help. Talk this over with a priest or a spiritual director so that you may find peace again.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;
    i. The Bible reading from St John (10: 27-30)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the readings and clips
    v. A red heart
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊 

What do you understand when mummy, daddy, or someone else tells you that they love you? What does it mean that someone loves you? Today, Jesus is going to speak to us about love! Let us listen to what our friend Jesus has to say.

  • Jesus wants us to love others, as he loves us
  • A plastic jar with a wide neck, or a cardboard box (see activity to find the jar or box accordingly)
  • Printouts of the activity
  • Pencil
  • Colours and decorations
  • Scissors
  • Glue 

When someone loves you, he does not only say it in words, but he also shows you. How do you know that mummy and daddy love you? (they prepare food, they take you to school, they play with you, they buy you the things you need, they see that you have clean clothes, they take you to places where you enjoy yourself …)

So, although, mummy and daddy tell you that they love you, they also show you that they love you, through the things they do for you. 

Do you love mummy, daddy, your brothers, and sisters? What do you do to show them that you love them?

Today, Jesus is telling us to love others in the way that he loves them. When Jesus lived with the apostles, he loved all those whom he met. Do you remember some of the things, Jesus did to show the people that he loved them? (he talked with them, he taught them, he was very patient, for example he taught using parables, he healed the sick, he gave the people food when they were hungry, he was everyone’s friend)

Today, Jesus, also told us that when we love others, we will be showing people that we are his friends! Did you know this? Through our behaviour, people will know whether we are Jesus’ friends or not!

Do you want to be Jesus’ friends?

Do you want to show the people that you are His friends?

To show that you are His friends, you need to love how he loves. The activity for this week will help you do things to show others that you love them. When you do this, you are not only showing them that you love them, but you are also telling Jesus that you love him, that you are his friends. Although this is this week’s activity, continue to always love others. Jesus will be so happy when he sees you loving others, the way that he wishes!

Fix the picture of Jesus saying, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you’ onto the jar or box. You may decorate it too. Afterwards cut out the hearts. You have something written on each heart. Give an example of how you can do what is written. For example, on one you have written, ‘help others,’ things you may do, are putting your things in their place, help to prepare the table, see that the dog has water to drink. On another heart, you have ‘be friends,’ in this case, you make up with those you may have had an argument with, you play fair. Give examples using all the hearts given. Afterwards draw an example on each of the hearts. When you are ready, put the hearts in the box or jar. Everyday, get one heart out and try to do what is drawn/written. It will not always be easy. Jesus knows that sometimes it is difficult to love others. So, it would be best, if after you take the heart, you ask Jesus to help you. Remember that when you do this, you are telling Jesus that you love him. Jesus wants us to show him that we love him and others, through the things we say and do. 
Whilst you are drawing, listen to Love one another.

Sign of the cross.

Dear Jesus, we want to love you. We want to be your friends. Today, you told us that when we love others, we would be loving you too. We would also be showing that we are your friends. Jesus, you know that it is not always easy to love those who are not our friends. We want to be more like you and love everyone. Jesus, help us become more like you. Amen. 

How can we show that we are Jesus’ friends? We will find the answer in today’s Gospel.

  • Jesus tells us to love others; he also tells us to follow his example
  • A plastic jar with a wide neck, or a cardboard box (see activity to find the jar or box accordingly)
  • Printouts of the activity – one with Jesus’ word and as many copies of the hearts, as you need
  • Pencil
  • Colours and decorations
  • Scissors
  • Glue 

Did you ever wish to bake a cake or fix a picture or photograph of your favourite singer or actor, on the wall? What did you do? Did you ask someone to show you how?

What would be easier? You asked mummy or daddy, or someone else, to stay near you and to show you, one step at a time, what you should do or else they just tell you what to do and let you do it on your own?

When someone, who is experienced shows you how to do something, it usually turns out to be of great help. It will mean that you will not commit so many mistakes. You will also be shown the best way of doing something. When someone helps you, it does not mean that he does the thing for you. When someone shows you how to do something, you will have an example or a model, to follow. The person, who shows you would have already gained the experience of doing this thing. 

Today, Jesus gives us a commandment. Do you remember it? 

Jesus tells us to love others. We are to love as he did. Jesus did not love others, simply by saying the words, Jesus showed his love through actions. So, Jesus did not just tell us to love others. First, he was the one to love others, then he asked us to do the same. In this way, Jesus’ life is the example we should follow. In all that we do and say, we should imitate Jesus. When we do this, the people who see us, will recognise that we are Jesus’ friends.

How did Jesus show his love for others? What did he do? What did he say? (he was everyone’s friend, he did not mind being near the sick, the lonely, the poor, the ones who were isolated from others. He helped everyone and he healed many people, he made better the life of those he met, he taught everyone, he taught in a way that everyone understood him, so he adapted his words according to who was listening to him, he prayed for others, and he taught about prayer, he was kind to everyone…)

After mentioning how Jesus loved, how will you show others that you love them?

From the examples you gave, you would have noticed, that it is not always easy to love others. There are times when we need to make sacrifices to love others. It is difficult to love someone who does not love you back. However, Jesus even loved those who crucified him. When he was on the cross, he asked God the Father, to forgive them!

Now you can do today’s activity. You have a picture with Jesus’ words, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ Stick this to the jar or box. You have some hearts (make as many copies as you need), cut them and on each one of them, write down an example you mentioned earlier. When you are ready, put the hearts in the jar or box. Everyone can do this exercise, because we are all called to love, as Jesus did. (Younger children can do the activity mentioned in the 4 to 7 years section) Leave the jar or box in the room, the family usually meets. Every morning, everyone takes one of the hearts, reads it and returns it to the jar or box. During the day, everyone will do his/her best to do whatever was written on the heart.

When you are ready, listen to, We love, we love.

Sign of the cross.

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us how to love others. Thank you for loving us in a special way. It is not easy to follow in your footsteps. Sometimes it is difficult to love others. We therefore ask you to help us overcome these obstacles.

Together we pray the Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of those whom I have injured.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.