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I Give You a New Commandment

Easter is a time when we both remember and celebrate the new life which has come to us through our Risen Lord. Today’s readings speak to a “new life”. The word “new” appears several times today. The passage from Revelation speaks of a “new” heaven, a “new” earth and a “new” Jerusalem. Jesus in the Gospel speaks of a “new” commandment. What’s supposed to be “new”? Can you say that you have experienced a “new life” this Easter? Or have become changed in anyway?

This Easter season has been a big time of change and growth for me. On March 11th, I became a part of an elite group of women that are called mom. The love I felt for my daughter when she was born was instant. And that love has only grown stronger in the past two months. Through the tears (mostly mine), the lack of sleep and all the funny learning moments, I’ve stretched as a person. I’ve become more compassionate, more understanding and (hopefully but don’t check with my husband) more patient. I’ve also realized that being a mom is selfless. It’s unconditional and it’s eternal. Now, I know that you’re asking yourself why I’m talking about being a mom when I should be talking about today’s readings. Well here is the reason. Today’s Gospel reading says: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This is my favourite part of today’s Gospel. It speaks of loving one another. It speaks of a love that reaches out in compassion, in care, in service and in tolerance. It speaks of a love that influences how I treat others everyday and how I receive others’ treatments towards me. Doesn’t that sound like the love of a mom? Or I should say that being a mom is the closest to being like Christ that I’ll ever be.

Good words from Pope Francis: “The first criterion: to love with deeds, not words. Words are taken away by the wind! The second criterion of concreteness is: in love it is more important to give than to receive. The one who loves, gives to God and to others’ “(Jan 9, 2014). Jesus spent time with people, especially those who were sick, lonely, frightened or poor. He listened to them and ate with them. He healed them and he helped them to change their lives for the better. Since we’ve been given the amazing opportunity to follow Jesus and his commandments, shouldn’t we follow by loving each other as parents love? Love others unconditionally? I realise it’s a big task and that we’re only human, but so was Jesus and look at his legacy. As a mom, the most loving gesture I can do is lead my daughter to Christ and his infallible and unconditional love.

Katy Mahoney

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