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2916 Paris Avenue New Orleans, LA 70119

Pastor: Father Stanley K. Ihuoma, SSJ

  • Bulletin: May 5, 2024

    Sixth Sunday of Easter

    Bulletin is updated every Friday

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  • NO HEALING SERVICE—SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2024
    Due to Jazz Fest, there will not be a healing service on
    Sunday, May 5, 2024

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Today’s Gospel follows immediately after the Gospel proclaimed last week, in which Jesus taught that he was the vine
and that his disciples were the branches. In the example of the
vine and the branches, we learned that our union with Jesus will
lead to fruitful service. Today’s reading extends this teaching to
describe the kind of service that Christians are called upon to
offer to others.
When John wrote this Gospel, his community was influenced
by a set of religious beliefs called Gnosticism. It appears that
one of John’s intentions was to distinguish Christian belief
from the beliefs held by the Gnostics. Evidence of this can be
found in today’s Gospel.
One of the tenets of Gnostic teaching was the importance of
knowledge, or gnosis, as the determining aspect of faith. We
read today’s Gospel as a response to this teaching. In John’s
Gospel, we hear Jesus affirm that he is known by the Father and
that his disciples will know the Father by knowing Jesus. In this
passage, however, Jesus reminds his disciples that this
knowledge is to be expressed in love. Those who know Jesus
well—and Jesus says that his disciples do know him—will love
one another. Knowledge leads to love, which leads to action.
John reminds his community that Jesus taught that love is the
sign of a true disciple and, thus, a true Christian. Even more, a
true disciple shows a particular kind of love, sacrificial love.
In the Greek, there are two words for love that are used in this
passage. The first is agape. The second is philia. The first word
is most often used to describe love for other persons and for
God. It is understood as the highest and most perfect kind of
love. The second word is used to describe the affection of
friendship. In this context, John appears to use these words as
synonyms. The root of the Greek word for friend comes from
this second term for love, philia. By using this word, Jesus
transforms the terms of his relationship with his disciples and
redefines for them their relationship with God. In the Hebrew
Scriptures, faith in God made one a servant of God.