Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 13 - 7th Sunday of Easter

7th Sunday of Easter – May 13, 2018

I –It is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us become with us a witness to the resurrection.
R –The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
II – Whoever remains in love, remains in God, and God in him.
A – I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord. I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
G –That they may be one just as we are one.

+ Today on this intermediary Sunday, this “Novena Sunday,” the “nine day period” (novem dies – Novena), in between the feasts of the Ascension of the Lord and the sending of the Spirit next Sunday at Pentecost -  with Mary and the Apostles gathered in the upper room - we pause and reflect on the whirlwind of activity – historically speaking – that has just occurred: God, the Almighty Creator has “pitched his tent” among his wayward creatures: becoming one of them so that he could redeem them as only a Man-God could. Jesus, God’s very speech became flesh – and he lived among us, interacted with us, effected powerful changes by means of his very words and actions and then planned a way to leave himself with us until the end of time by a sacramental organism called Church. This is all very exciting, and rightly deserves the category of “Good News,” or as would be said in our day and age: “AWESOME NEWS”!!

And then when he did everything he had come to do, last Thursday we celebrated the day when he returned to where he, in his divinity, had come from: and he set his throne in heaven – to be seated at the right hand of the Father – in his glory – forever. And so, Jesus is truly in heaven, yet still on earth simultaneously, in very real and substantial ways.

And this is our hope – as we reflect on the coming of the Spirit – that if we do what he commanded just before he left: love one another as he loved us: then we shall experience deeply his and his Father’s love in us, and we will have an enormous amount of good, beauty and truth that we will want to share with others.

In the gospel passage we read from the Priestly Prayer of Jesus (prayed immediately after the Last Supper): where he speaks not just of love in itself, but the unifying power of this love: he asks his Father to unify those who would believe in him – throughout the ages – unify them in both belief and in love: for faith must produce works or else it is lifeless. And all of this so our joy may be complete. Jesus knows the end of the story that is coming; and in a sense it is very much like a fairy tale: it is his deep desire that we will all live happily ever after with him – in joy and in peace: but until that last trumpet is sounded, it all depends on our choices, our willingness to cooperate with an abundance of grace given to get there.

God is like a Father who gives us all the pieces of a magnificent puzzle and all he asks is that we sit down, focus, concentrate and put the pieces together: beginning with the effervescent piece of faith, and ending with a host of good deeds done because we love him. He even sent Jesus, who knows how the entire picture is to look, and he is willing to help us piece by piece, but we must ask – he respects our freedom – so we must ask his help!

With Mary and the Apostles, today and all the days of this coming novena week, let us ask the Father to always send us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

The Lord has set his throne in heaven.

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