To love one another

6th Sunday of Easter

The Gospel today is from John’s Gospel, chapter 15 and is a continuation of Jesus’ Farewell discourse during the Last Supper. Last week, Jesus used the imagery of the vine and its branches to describe our relationship with Him and each other as members of the Body of Christ. We learned that our union with Jesus will lead to fruitful service. Today’s reading builds on this teaching and describes just what kind of service that we as Christians are called upon to offer to others.

Previously in the discourse (chapter 14) we hear Jesus affirm that he is known by the Father and that his disciples will know the Father by knowing Jesus. Today Jesus is reminding his disciples that this knowledge is to be expressed in love. Those who know Jesus well, will follow his example and love one another. Knowledge leads to love, which leads to action. John reminds his community that Jesus taught that love is the sign of true discipleship and therefore a sign of a true Christian but it is a particular kind of love. It is love which involves sacrifice, obedience and willing co-operation which lead to joy.

The writer C. S. Lewis in a book called “The Four Loves” talks about four different types of love which are found in the Bible. “Affection” (storge), which is the affection we have for the people around us in our daily lives. The second is, “friendship” (Philia) based on relationship and the things we have in common. “Romantic” (eros), love based on passion and of ‘falling in love’ with someone. The fourth is “charity” (agape), this is the unconditional love of the Father given to us through his Son (Jesus). Lewis thinks this should be our chief aim as Christians, to love unconditionally. This unconditional love is what Jesus teaches in today’s Gospel. Jesus says, “love one another, as I have loved you,” what does he mean exactly? 

We might easily misinterpret what Jesus means by these words. Jesus does not say that his love depends on our obedience because then it would be conditional love. The obedience which Jesus talks about is our surrender of will, that can only happen when we truly accept God’s love and believe that God wants the best for us and those around us. Such surrender brings us joy and freedom to follow Jesus’ teachings and live our lives in a loving way. Jesus’ actions and teachings were rooted in God’s love and based on relationship. Today Jesus asks us to “remain in my love”, it’s an invitation. Are we willing as parents to listen to this invitation? Sometimes it is hard to find time in our busy schedules to stop and spend a few moments with God, but for our relationship with God to grow we need to find a few moments to pray. Jesus teaches us that our relationship with Him is based on friendship. Just like Jesus chose the disciples and sent them out into the world for the service of others, we too are chosen and invited to be a servant of God. As Christians we are called to bear fruit by serving others and by sacrificing for others, out of love.

A reading from the Gospel John (Jn 15: 9-17)

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love 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 is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. What is the cost of love? When we ask ourselves this question love becomes more than just a feeling or emotion it becomes a decision of the will. Love then requires actions based on our feelings and an awareness of the consequences. Love is not then merely a feeling but is expressed also in our actions towards others.
  4. To claim love is easy, to live love is difficult. In Jesus we see the example of love perfectly lived out. If we follow His example, we will find the strength to live love to the fullest. This week ask God’s help that your love will be like that of Jesus, that you may be ready to give yourself for others. Reading Psalm 143:8, and Proverbs 3:3-4 might help.
  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 John (15: 9-17)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    vi. A plant, to help the children understand better the concept of the branches being an integral part of the whole plant. A leaf on its own cannot live.
    v. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  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 😊
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

Jesus wants us to love each other just like God the Father loves us. What can you do to show the people around you, such as your parents, siblings, friends or grandparents that you love them? One way is to be joyful and make them smile.

  • We are following Jesus when we show our love to others
  • The love of Jesus fills our hearts with joy
  • Paper plate
  • Coloured craft card
  • Glue/ scissors/ hole punch
  • Colours / decorations
  • String/ ribbon

In the Gospel today Jesus is explaining his love to his friends and what it means to love as God loves us. It is love which gives joy and hope to others.

Think of things which make you happy, it might be a day at the beach, a friend’s birthday party, a new toy or eating your favourite food, or even going to the cinema, or just anything which makes you smile and feel joyful. Now think of things which make you sad, such as falling down and hurting your knee, or having an argument with your best friend or when someone says something to hurt your feelings or being sick and missing a party. When something good happens, you feel happy and when something bad happens you feel sad.

Do you think Jesus wants us to be happy?  Of course, he does. Jesus says to his friends “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” It’s simple then, God our Heavenly Father loved Jesus, and who does Jesus love? Yes, that’s right Jesus loves us! 

Jesus then says “I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” Jesus is saying that even when something bad happens to us we can still have joy in our heart because we know that Jesus loves us.
 As you know today is Mothers’ Day. We can show our love by little acts of kindness and trying to make our mothers feel special today. It is a good day to spread the joy which comes from loving others like Jesus loved us. It is a good day for smiling. To spread a little joy try making a ‘Happy Face Flower Mask’ and trying it out on your family and friends to see if it makes them happy.

Jesus is asking us to love one another. Let us thank him in prayer. Try watching this song whilst you make your mask; Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.

Sign of the cross

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us, help us to remain in your love so that we will be filled with joy.  Help us to show your love to others by being kind and friendly. Today we pray especially for our mothers (can mention their names) and thank them for their patience, may you bless them on this special day.


Last week we heard about Jesus talking to His disciples, saying He was like a vine and that we are the branches, today’s Gospel is a continuation of this speech. Today, Jesus talks about loving one another. Jesus asks us to love as He has loved, and to share this love with others.

  • The love which Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel is about obedience, friendship, and sacrifice which produces joy in our hearts.
  • Man and Heart Template
  • Scissors/ Glue
  • Pencil/ Colours
  • Red and pink card

Jesus gave us His love unconditionally. He sacrificed Himself on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven, and we would be able to have the wonderful gift of eternal life. He loved us without expecting any pay back. He gives us the special gift of His love and he asks us to pass on this gift to others. How can we do that? We can do it by being kind and caring for others, forgiving and treating our friends with respect and be willing to help without expecting anything in return.

In today’s Gospel Jesus asks us to love one another as he loves us. He talks about the importance of looking out for our friends, and how we can all be friends of Jesus. He spoke these words at the Last Supper just after he washed the feet of the apostles, by doing this he was showing them how they should love one another. It is a sacrificial love, it’s a love that gives, serves and spreads joy and as followers of Jesus we are asked to do the same thing. Jesus said, “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you,” this is a very big commandment. Jesus is asking us not only to love our friends but to love everyone! This is not always so easy, and sometimes we make mistakes, we might be faced with obstacles which stop us from showing our love for others. If you see a new boy or girl at school and no one is talking to them or playing with them, what would you choose to do? Ignore them and continue to play with your friends or try to make friends with them so that they will not feel lonely?

Jesus wants us to love others. Even to those who sometimes hurt us because that is the way that Jesus loved us. Just think if we gave something to others without expecting anything in return, how much better would the world be? During this week, think how you can give to others in secret and try it out to see how you feel. You will be filled with joy and you will be producing the “fruit” which Jesus talked about in last weeks’ Gospel. Since today it is Mothers’ Day it would be a great day to start! 

As a reminder of Jesus’ commandment “to love one another” you could try out this Paperman and Heart craft (see above instructions), whilst listening to this song: Love one another.

Sign of the cross.

Dear Jesus,

in our homes and at school, help us to love one another. In what we think, say and do, help us to love one another. When we argue or feel tired, help us to love one another. Every moment of every day, whether it is easy or hard, help us to love one another. Today we ask especially for your grace and protection on all mothers.


1. According to Jesus, how can we remain in his love?

Correct! Wrong!

2. Jesus also said that the most important commandment is...

Correct! Wrong!

3. If we do what Jesus asks us to do, he will not call us slaves but he shall call us...

Correct! Wrong!

4. Jesus sent those who have been called by him to ...

Correct! Wrong!

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.