5th Sunday of Easter
April 24, 2016 4:00pm
and 12:00 noon
Saint Margaret Parish, Bel Air
“This is how…”
Just think about Jesus’ words that we just heard.
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I mean, it’s really quite a statement.
It’s not complicated. In a way, it’s very simple.
This past Tuesday morning, at the 8:30 Mass in the chapel, we had a very similar reading and I shared a few reflections on it. Two people encouraged me to expand my thoughts and share them sometime on a Sunday.
And sure enough, here is this gospel passage for today. So here is some of what I believe the words of Jesus mean for me and for us in the year 2016 – “This is how all will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
“This is how…if you have love…”
This means – as I often see in this community – that mothers and fathers work their jobs, keep the household together, and get the kids to school and soccer and dance and faith formation and on it goes. They really give a lot of their time and of themselves for their children.
Jesus’ words mean that we try to work through problems in our relationships. We are committed to listening and also to expressing ourselves in a constructive way, to do whatever we can to reconcile and build bridges.
Jesus’ words mean that I as a priest lift up the love of God for everyone and not put down people for their weaknesses. They mean that I put my energy on including and not on excluding people for this or that reason.
Jesus’ words mean that we can be good Catholics and strong in our faith. And at the same time, we can be equally respectful of the goodness of Presbyterians and Methodists and of Jews and Muslims.
Jesus’ words mean that we think and act for the common good, for the overall good of everyone. They mean that my own comfort and security and money is a legitimate consideration, but not my only consideration.
And finally, Jesus’ words mean that here and now we care for those in our lives. They also mean that we have a global concern for all of God’s daughters and sons on this earth.
So, this is something of what Jesus’ words mean to me – “This is how all will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
These thoughts form some of the heartbeat of my ministry as a priest. And I hope that my sharing them will provide some good reflection for us today.