April 29, 2018 — Fifth Sunday of Easter
St. John captures the essence of what kind of love is expected from us toward our neighbor and those in need as he opens our Second Reading with “Let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” Jesus made that point several times in His own teachings. It follows the old adage that “Actions speak louder than words.”
We have pointed out numerous times that being a good steward requires action. It may be easy for us come to an understanding of what it means to love one another; and additionally, we may speak of doing it; but the true measure is what we do, how we live our lives.
The best examples of stewardship of that we may be aware in our parishes and community involve what we see and experience in others. That is the most effective way to be taught and it is the best way to teach others. Do it and live it.
That is John’s point is it not? He continues his instructions in the Second Reading by saying, “We should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.” The Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen, who had a great appreciation for the written word, once stated, “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.”
The point of Jesus’ Parable of the Two Sons (Mt 21) in which one son says he will do his father’s will but does not while the other says he will not obey, but repents and does what his father asked, is quite clear that deeds mean more than intentions.