May 10, 2015

A HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “B” –  5/10/15  –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!  Peace and goodness to you this day!

It all sounds so beautiful when Jesus says it!  “Remain in My love.”  “Keep My Commandments.”  “Love one another!”  “You are my friends.”  “I want My joy to be in you and your joy complete.”  It all sound so easy!  So nice!  Doesn’t it?   It even makes the mind wonder for a minute, to the possibilities, those what “if’s”, that perhaps if we all had a cup of herbal tea, and sat around on soft mats, listening to Bob Marley music, that maybe, just maybe,  it could even actually come true.   But you can read this Gospel text a thousand times, and eventually, you and I are going to get hit with the hard reality that it is not easy to live this way.  And in particular, it is NOT easy to love one another.  Oh, we try.  We try so hard.  We want to be loving and caring, and then somebody jumps right in front of us in line at the store, or cuts us off in traffic, or our daily stress has used up all of our patience, and then, all of a sudden, Jesus’ words aren’t so nice and easy any more, are they?  Or someone insults our kids, or our work, or our shoes, and we might not say anything at the time, but on the inside, we’re marking that one down, and the next time we get to say anything about that person, we’re going to rip their reputation to shreds!  Or someone gets something that we want.  Doesn’t matter what it is.  And rather than be happy for them, we get mad, and we dislike them for having what we want, like it is all their fault that we don’t have what they have.  How crazy is that?  And it is after a couple of these realizations hit, that it dawns on us, that for us to love one another, as Jesus commands, it’s going to take a lot more than herbal tea and Bob Marley music.

My brothers and sisters, make no mistake about it, there is nothing easy about loving one another.  You know it.  And I know it!  It wasn’t easy two-thousand years ago and it is not easy today.  Jesus doesn’t say that it is going to be easy either.  Look where His love took Him!  But that doesn’t change what Jesus is commanding us to do.  We are still supposed to love and care for one another.  But it does mean that if were really going to live out Jesus’ teaching, then we’d better learn some new ways of living out these commandments.  And it means that very clearly, we’re not going to be able to do what Jesus is asking us to, on our own.  We’ve got to have help.  And it had better be some pretty strong, divine, miraculous kind of help!

Thank God, that first and foremost we know that we are the recipients of Jesus’ love.  When Jesus died on a Cross for love of us, His powerful love is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts.  We know that Jesus’ love changed many people’s lives over the years.  Once they experienced His powerful, unconditional love, they were never the same.  That same love is offered to all of us every day.  And just when we think we can’t love, or care, or be compassionate, Jesus’ love says that we can!   We can’t be afraid to trust His love.  He will show us how to love and how to conquer our selves.  Remember, His love conquered even death!  That’s the love that I want helping me when my patience is gone.

The second, great example of God’s help for us, to love others, is the Holy Spirit.  You can tell in our readings that we are coming up on the Feast of Pentecost.  In today’s first reading, St. Peter witnesses the outpouring of the Holy Spirit even upon the Gentiles, and the incredible change that occurs in all of them.  We know, that the love of the Father, and the love of the Son, unite together to send us the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love!   We need that Holy Spirit in us every day!  Obviously, we’re going to talk more about that in these next two weeks.  May the Holy Spirit show us, and help us to love our brothers and sisters.

Jesus’ beautiful words and vision in this Gospel, are very much possible, even in our lives today.  We can love a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.  May God be our source of love, so that we can truly share an everlasting love, with all our brothers and sisters!  Today and forever!

May God bless us,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                                                      AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                                             Pray for us !!!