A little of this weekend’s Gospel reading, and a little more :
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy may be complete.
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.”
Number 51 in the Rite of Penance gives two examples of “Celebrations of the Word of God,” and this is an option given in the first, under the theme of “Love is the fullness of the law.” Where the framers of the rite seem to head with their selection is an emphasis on love of neighbor rooted in the basic love of God.
It’s not a surprise this theme pops up during Easter, as the later Sundays draw us deeper into the stories of Acts, and the Christian community’s struggle with living out the example of love given to us by the Lord Jesus.
People in love make signs of love. It’s what we do. It can be difficult enough within a marriage, a family, and a religious community living under one vow and one roof. It can be hard indeed for people who have few enough connections but for the Sunday Eucharist. But it is something laid down for us by the example of both Jesus himself and the early Church. The most tanglible advantage of form II Reconciliation is the obvious connection between our personal sin (which isn’t so personal) and those closest to us in the Lord. Those relationships, somehow, should be a consideration when we come before God for forgiveness.