Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter-2020

Written on: May 13, 2020

First Reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:15-18
Gospel: John 14:15-21

 Our readings today pick up where last week’s readings left off. Jesus is telling us and preparing us that He is going to leave us but He will not leave us alone. He also tells us that He chose us; we did not choose Him. I started to look at these words and wonder what these words meant in my life.

The theme of His whole life was love.

A line that especially caught my attention was:

“Whoever knows my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

I then prayed on the statements above and I was surprised to find out how much these words have played a role in my life.

To me it was as if Jesus left me all I needed to know to always stay one with Him. His commandment is LOVE, “love one another.” His whole life shows how to do this.

These are some of the thoughts that came to me about what it might mean to keep His commandment to LOVE.

      • Reach out to the poor and be poor with them, offering them food or drink or whatever you may have that they may need and you can share.
      • Reach out to the marginalized and offer them support in their struggles and pain.
      • Reach out to the sick and offer them the comfort of your presence and love that heals.
      • Advocate for all in need, inviting those who have the power and resources to help make things better to do so, to choose love.
      • Pray for each other and especially those most in need.

And, when it seems I’m powerless and I feel hopeless, I remember that Jesus promised “the Spirit of truth” who “remains with you and will be in you.” Then I know again that I’m not alone. Jesus sent His Spirit to be with me, to teach me again and again how to love Him, and who promised that I will be loved by the Father.

This is His promise to each one of us. We are not alone and we are loved. We have been given the Spirit who makes it possible for us to follow Jesus and love others as He did-and as He has commanded us. We do what we can and God takes care of everything else through the awesome power of the Spirit.

As I close this writing I pray that we all pray and find out what these words have meant in each of our lives.  

“IF YOU LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.”


Sr. Mary O’Connell, GNSH, spent her early years as a Sister in the ministry of education. Later, her business acumen led her to positions in Financial Aid at D’Youville College, as treasurer for the Congregation and later as Director of Development. She also served as a prison chaplain which led to the release of a prisoner in honor of her 25th Jubilee- an event she considers a true blessing in her life. She also spent a year of Saturdays sleeping with the homeless women of Kensington and 18 years living among the poor in Trenton, both life changing experiences.


Feature image courtesy of Aaron Burden/Unsplash


11 thoughts on “Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter-2020

  1. Judith Sholette says:

    Thanks for the reflection on loving one another and that God will see we have all we need to help others.

  2. Mary Elizabeth Looby says:

    Thanks, Mary! You captured the spirit I hope we embody!

  3. Jean liston says:

    Mary, thanks for reminding us of our commitment to love and serve others.

  4. Joan McElwain says:

    Mary, Thanks for sharing and reminding us that God is love.

  5. Anne Marie Beirne says:

    Mary thanks Mary for the concrete reminders of our call to be one with the poor—-perhaps remembering Your own ministry with the homeless In Kensington and your prison ministry.

  6. Barbara Harrington says:

    Compassion spelled out in concrete terms. Thanks for sharing this, Mary. You always have a way of “telling it like it is.”

  7. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you so much for making the Scriptures understandable to a layperson and for sharing your life story as well. I have been thinking about this and you have helped me very much.

  8. Patsy Geary says:

    In the Gospel reading, John reminds us that at the end of each day, there is only a single question to ask ourselves — How did I love (or not love) today?
    Thank you, Mary, for reminding us!

  9. Terry Beam says:

    Sister Mary
    Thank you so much for sharing your reflection on our need to love one another and help each other in any way we can. Never more so than now when we are all struggling with this new way of life that is so foreign and scary.
    We know God is with us all all times and it is comforting to know his love is everlasting.
    God bless us all.

  10. Denise Roche says:

    Mary,

    You have given us the perfect reminder that all our efforts and work should come down to love, love for God which inspires us to love others. In the end, it is all about love.

    Thank you for reminding us so clearly.

  11. Rita Margraff says:

    Mary, thank you for this sharing. And the reminder that God is always with us in the presence of Jesus and the Spirit.

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