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The Freedom of Forgiveness

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"

A reflection from Father Tudgay for the Fourth Sunday of Easter.

It would have been unthinkable for anyone in First Century Palestine to insert their own ownership of any “Commandment” in public discourse…This is “My” Commandment… So Jesus’ use of these words are quite Earth-shattering! 


My Commandment…Love one another the way that I love you. Here’s another twist: use of the word slavery. Certainly, the exodus from slavery in Egypt would have been well-engrained in the Jewish consciousness as the backdrop against which God’s Chosen People would have been set free from the Pharaoh. What is the mystery that is unfolding here? Life in Christ represents a New Exodus that brings freedom not from a physical place, but freedom from sin and death. In this is the essence of the Christian Faith because in Christ is the restoration of eternal life and forgiveness of sin.


My Commandment…Love one another as I love you. This command implies that the true love offered to one another involves a sacrificial element. There is no love without Christ and Christ’s love always includes the cross. Here is where this New Exodus begins to evolve. The experience of forgiveness, one to another, sets us free from all forms of anger and selfishness. This new commandment of Christ incorporates the Law and the Prophets into a moral imperative that demands our acceptance of God’s forgiveness and the extension of that forgiveness, one to another. If we really want to experience true freedom on our lives, the best place to start is be receiving the merciful love of God into every dimension of our lives…and sharing that mercy with one another!


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