Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48; 1 Jn 4:7-10 ; Jn 15:9-17
In 1941, the German Army began to round up Jewish people in Lithuania. Thousands of Jews were murdered. But one German soldier objected to their murder. He was Sergeant Anton Schmid. Through his assistance, the lives of at least 250 Jews were spared. He managed to hide them, find food, and supply them with forged papers. Schmid himself was arrested in early 1942 for saving these lives. He was tried and executed in 1942. It took Germany almost sixty years to honour the memory of this man, Schmid. Said Germany's Defence Minister in 2000, saluting him, "Too many bowed to the threats and temptations of the dictator Hitler, and too few found the strength to resist. But Sergeant Anton Schmid did resist."
This is the central theme of today's Gospel. "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." The hero Schmid went beyond what even Jesus encouraged. He laid down his life for strangers. (Fr. James Gilhooley).
We are chosen to be the ambassadors of God's love. But, we live in such a way that we declare that we are sent out into the world to compete with one