Homily April 28, 2013 Fifth Sunday of Easter C

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on April 24, 2013

The gospel today is from John’s account of the Last Supper. Jesus knows it is at the end of His time with them and to prepare them for what was to be their future He gives them a new commandment. Everything is contained in this commandment. He commanded: “love one another”. He explained that as he loved them so they should love one another. This he said was to be the way others would know his disciples, that they have love for one another.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The centuries since have shown how hard it really is. So many things stand in the way of fully carrying out that command. While it sounds easy, it somehow seems like climbing some insurmountable mountain. We can see and acknowledge it but find it hard to practice. Recently, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Emil Kapaun, a priest chaplain in the Army during the Korean war. His award was for his bravery and conduct as a soldier, but his soldiering was different. He had no gun and during world war 2 and Korea he served thousands of soldiers. In 1950, he was sent into the war and as chaplain went straight to the front where his men were, ministering to the wounded, dead and dying. Ultimately, he was captured and even then he continued on ministering, giving his food and all he had to his men until he reached the point that he had physically given all that was possible except his life, when he was taken away and put aside in a hut called a hospital to die. However, in the months that led up to his death, he left a lasting impression on his men as a real man for others and a true chaplain and soldier. Beyond that he is seen as a candidate for sainthood.

I think we can see that this man was one who took and followed Jesus’ command. His years as a priest were spent mostly in the military, yet he never lost sight of loving care of his men. Even in terms of military honor he stood out further as a Christian marked by the love he had for others. We today see this as extraordinary, but really it is so because so often we put roadblocks in our own way that somehow we fail to love in this same way. This I think is our thought for today, love one another, give and forget the “I” or “me”.


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