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May 10, 2015

6TH Sunday of Easter


mp 16George Richarson, NY, USA, “The Empty Tomb”


First Reading:  Acts 10: 25-27. 34-35. 44-48
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.”

Second Reading: 1 John 4: 7-10  
“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us…”

Gospel:  John 15: 9-17
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit…”


First and foremost, loving us is God’s initiative – that he loved us first, therefore, we ought to love one another. Likewise, in God’s love, there is no partiality, all share the same love, the same gift of the Holy Spirit as shown when Cornelius, a Gentile, and his household, received the Spirit just as the apostles had on the day of Pentecost.
    mp 17Soichi Watanabe, Japan “Water Lilies, God’s Grace”The empty tomb symbolizes the love of God when the only Son of God laid down his life for the sake of humanity. The empty tomb and the impartiality of God’ love should inspire us to “let go” of prejudices or obstacles that hinder us to show this love for one another.
    The story of one Filipina captures this “love for others.” She is Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Ph. D., who devotes her work as a staunch advocate of pro-life activities, nationally as well as internationally.  She is the current Regional Director of Human Life International in Asia and Oceania.  She worked for 28 years for the Philippine government as a promoter of contraceptives, abortion, and population control. In 2004, she had a total conversion, a complete turn-around that made her leave a high paying consultancy job and a life-long career. She learned about the many dangers posed by contraceptives and other means of population control done to women. She made exposures to the media and from then on involved herself doing impassioned work in defending human life, faith, marriage and the family. She continues to expose the deadly deception of the “culture of death” by the killing of unborn babies. She is sustained in her advocacy of spreading the “gospel of life” through prayer and fasting.
    Like Dr. Acosta, who is a modern “apostle of the resurrection”, we too must leave the “empty tomb” in our lives, never to return again because of the eternal life promised to us by Jesus. Mother Frances wrote … “as He arose from the tomb…we too may put aside all bonds attaching us to self and to earthly creatures and…raise ourselves up toward Him”. In his commandment “to love one another,” we too must love unconditionally without counting the cost. In the Philippine mission, to love those whom we serve - the street children, the drug addicts, the prostitutes, the physically disabled and mentally ill – is quite a challenge.  But Jesus has shown us the way, when he sent the apostles “to go and bear fruit”. For us, God is in every spoonful we feed, in every piece of clothing we share, in every assistance we give to the sick and suffering and in every prayer we teach.

How can I “empty my tomb” and become a witness of the compassion and mercy of God without bias or prejudice to the people I meet every day?

Closing Prayer

Oh Lord, help us to recognize You, present and risen, in every person we encounter, and help us become witnesses of Your compassion and Apostles of new life. For Christ our Lord.

 Contributed by the Philippines Mission

Published: May, 8, 2015