Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for Sixth Sunday of Easter (5th May) 2024

Reflections 5th May 2024
John 15:9-17

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: April 20, 2024 - 2 minutes read

There is only one 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 (John 15:12).  Jesus invites us into a life where we find joy by giving freely of ourselves to God and others.

Recently, I watched the film “One Life,” inspired by the remarkable true story of British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton. (See

Reflecting on Winton’s past endeavours, the film chronicles his courageous efforts to aid groups of Jewish children in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during 1938–39, just prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Aged 29, Winton visits Czechoslovakia in 1938, just weeks after the Munich Agreement was signed. He encounters families in Prague who had fled the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Austria. They are living in poor conditions, with little or no shelter or food and in fear of the invasion of the Nazis. Horrified by the conditions in the refugee camps, Winton decides to save Jewish children himself. Actively supported by his mother Babette, herself a German-Jewish migrant who converted to the Church of England, he overcomes bureaucratic hurdles, collects donations and looks for foster families for the children brought to England. Many of them are Jews who are at imminent risk of deportation.

The movie was a visible reminder of Jesus’ 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

It vividly reminded me why this directive remains so central in our modern world. Today, we are all called to embody love, not merely as an abstract aspiration but as a real presence in daily life. Whether tending to the needs of a sick child, caring for an elderly relative, or venturing forth on humanitarian missions, the message of the Gospel rings clear: to love, despite the challenges that it may entail.

His commandment is to love, let us do what we can – to love and be loved. Even when the love cost us something.

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

The Spiritans Emblem

Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Co. Kildare.