Sixth Sunday after Easter – Year B

May 5, 2024

Gospel Lectionary Text

John 15:9-17

15:9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.

15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

15:11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

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

15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

15:15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

15:16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.

15:17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.


Welcome to the sixth Sunday after Easter, where Jesus invites us to reconsider the nature of love. The ancient Greeks categorized love into four types: “agape,” divine love, was considered the highest; the others, like “phileo,” the love of a friend, were viewed as lesser.

Throughout the Gospel of John, and particularly in this week’s passage, Jesus connects “agape” and “phileo” in a way that gets at the heart of the Gospel message. Jesus reveals something none of us — certainly not the ancient Greeks — dared to imagine: that the ultimate form of divine love (agape) is an expression of “phileo.” “No one has greater love (agape) than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends…”

Jesus reveals that God is friend, not foe; in Christ, there are no enemies — none, not one! This is the Gospel, the sacred center of the universe, the joy of Jesus that completes our joy and keeps the world spinning! As the poet Rumi said, “Start the drumbeat. Everything we have said about the Friend is true. The beauty of that peacefulness makes the whole world restless.”


In what ways does seeing God as a friend bring you peace, and in what ways does it make you restless?


As you contemplate the Christ Mystery, Inhale (I) and exhale (E) according to the prompts.

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is well;

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is one;

(I) Christ in me; (E) Me in Christ; (I) Christ in all; (E) All is Christ;

(I) All is Christ; (E) All is one; (I) All is well; (E) In Christ;

See the complete prayer

Word from Below Reflections

Bittersweet Fruit

As I was telling David how terrible hell would be, he turned to me and said, "And what do you think this is?" He pointed to the rotten wood poles that held the rusty tin sheets that served as walls for his shack. The metal sheets had as many holes as a slice of swiss...

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No Greater Love

The ancient Greeks had four ways of talking about love. The highest, most idealized form was “agape,” which is divine love. It is the gold standard of love. The other forms of love were assumed to be lower, human or natural loves: “Storge” is the love of a parent. “Eros” is sexual or erotic love....

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The Crying Monk

We are approaching the 6th Sunday since Easter, and the circumstances of my life have seemingly all but erased the memory of the resurrection. I need a reminder of the Good News. At first glance, I’m not sure I get that from today’s text.

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Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison