May the joy of Easter lift your heart and mind!
Last weekend was Good Shepherd Sunday. Listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd and following him wherever he calls us is an amazing adventure of faith. Listening and discovering another person’s love language is a means to helping each other experience God’s voice and love. When we speak someone else’s love language, we make each other feel valued, appreciated and loved.
This weekend we are given another paradigm that points to a much deeper and fuller intimacy between ourselves and God. It is much more human in terms of relationship because it is not between a shepherd and sheep; it is love between God and Jesus, Jesus and the disciples and the love of disciples for each other. This mutual love and goodwill is the true trademark of the community that Jesus founded, the Church.
As I reflect on the positioning of this set of readings in the context of the Easter Season, I am reminded of my own pilgrimage and the way the calendar of the Church leads us personally and communally in a cyclical fashion through particular stages of life toward union with God. Every year we grow closer to what we hope for: the Beatific Vision in which we are all completely united to God in God.
At Easter, one of my favorite phrases among the prefaces of the Mass states ”the joy of the resurrection renews the whole world.” When I reflect on this phrase while living in the Easter Season, it seems that we are on the very threshold of experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven! But now in these readings we return to a context of farewell. Jesus is preparing us for the departure of the Easter Season of grace, but we are not to worry or be sorrowful. Rather, we are to focus in faith and make a daily effort to be ready for the moment he returns to gather each one us personally and intimately to himself! It will be like the most perfect celebration and we will experience a true happily ever after in heaven! May God’s promise of love sustain you in everlasting hope! +++ Fr. Peter