Bulletin: May 9, 2021
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Love. Songs and books, plays and artistic masterpieces have been created to convey the truth that love is real. As Christians, we know that love is of God. In laying down his life, Jesus pours out God’s selfless, sacrificial, undying love. Jesus opens the door to a new relationship between God and humanity, that of friendship, of intimate closeness. Jesus calls us to show this same love for others, knowing that in doing so, we fulfill God’s will. As the account of Peter, Cornelius, and all in his household attests, this great love of God cannot be contained by our preconceived notions of the way things are in the world.
THE CALL AND CAUSE OF LOVE
Love calls and causes us to do great things, more than we might believe we are capable of. While some are called to give their lives as martyrs, most of us find ourselves called to lay down our lives in smaller ways in the midst of everyday life. Parents lose sleep in the early moments of their baby’s life, and again as their teens mature and gain independence. Adult children change their plans to care for aging parents. We hear the call of love as we become attentive and respond to the needs of the poor, lonely, sick, and vulnerable. Love causes us to turn our lives around, to strive to become more Christ-like in our words and actions. Peter followed this call of love when he entered the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. He was likely as astounded at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as were the believers who accompanied him, yet love caused Peter to see beyond the accepted boundaries of religion and race, seeing instead evidence of the Lord’s great love at work.
THE JOY-FILLED WAY OF LOVE
Following the Lord calls us to sacrifice for the sake of others, giving our attention, time, and resources in order to share Christ’s care and compassion. Jesus shows us that giving of self, pouring ourselves out in love for another, is a joy-filled way of life. Joy is more than a feeling and is deeper than happiness. Joy comes with the assurance that Christ is with us when our lives mirror the life and way of our Master. Joy is a sense of fulfillment in knowing and sharing Christ’s love. When we reach out in love, Christ’s joy fills our hearts. Strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit, we find the grace to follow Jesus’ command to love one another.