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A Patch of Light and a Rusty Nail

This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you
Acts 10:25-26,34-35,44-48; Psalm 98:1-4; I John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17

Sermon Week Sixth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 15:12

When Leonardo DaVinci was working on his painting of "The Last Supper," he would spend hours, even days, looking at his canvas. Then he would take his brush in hand and add only one or two strokes. When the monks in the monastery complained about the slow progress, Leonardo replied: "When I pause the longest, I make the most telling strokes with my brush."

Our Gospel Lesson today is the conclusion of Jesus' lengthy instruction to the Apostles after the Last Supper. Jesus is asking them to pause and reflect on what He was telling them. With a most telling stroke of humility, He stunned the Apostles by getting up from the table to wash their feet, saying "If I, then, the Lord and Master have washed your feet, you should wash each other's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do what I have done for you…It is to the glory of My Father that you should bear much fruit, and then prove you will be My disciples" (Jn. 13:14-15;15:8). Then, in today's Reading, Jesus tells them how to produce evidence that they are His true disciples. “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you," He says (Jn. 15:12).

There is a short story in which a self-centered old man dreams that he died and went to hell. In the midst of his anguish, he looks heavenward and cries out for a second chance. A voice from above asks him what he has done in his earthly life to merit a second chance. After much soul-searching, all the man can remember is that while walking in the woods one day, he saw a spider and did not kill it. At that moment, the thin, silvery thread of a spider web lowered to within his reach. He grabs hold of the thread, and it begins to rise and lift him out of his misery. Whereupon, two of his fellow prisoners grab onto his feet and his garment, hoping to escape. The man cries out, "Let go! Let go!" but the others [...]


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