Homily May 10, 2015 6th Sunday of Easter
It is almost 14 years since 911, but in many ways it remains in our lives even though we don’t realize it. The horror of that day is one of those times in our lives that we remember exactly where we were when we heard it happened. In my life two of those moments exist, President Kennedy’s assassination and the attack on the twin towers. Both times the country was quieted and became introspective. There were myriad reactions to both these events, with most people turning to their understanding of God and religion for comfort or resolution to what would seem reasonable behavior. Today’s readings talk of God’s love and his boundless giving to all his beloved creatures. All of what he created is good and all of men and women enjoy his love. He gave his Son that proved his love even though the evil and sin of he world put him to death. It was a gift given by Christ to give his life and to take it up again. God’s love and spirit thus became present to the world in a special and loving way. His love was all-embracing and forgiving of humanity’s flaws and failures.
In giving us his church, Christ gave a special way to find and be with his father. He sent his disciples to go out to all the world and preach his Word. Yet, even he said that there were believers of a different fold a different kind. Christian faith tells us that One God is present to all. Even in Christianity that faith has different forms. Yet Jesus is present when two or three are present in his name. Can we be so self righteous as to deny God’s presence on those who gather in his name regardless of what name they give them. The common thread of love and forgiveness touches most of humanity. Certainly evil lurks and is present, but as Christians we are called to love one another as Christ loved. He did not limit it just to those he knew but to all he met, to all who had need. His love meant all that entails, even forgiveness, even of those who hate you and even do harm to you.
Throughout our history, the message of Jesus has often been used in many ways to justify many things sometimes for good and other times not. War and conflict has touched the world in every century. Humanity’s imperfections certainly have given us an uneven history. Suspicion, greed, exploitation, and all the other sins and evil still lurk about. Yet, John today reminds us that Jesus said ”Love one another”while we should at the same time remember what St. Paul said, “Love never fails.”