“If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world.” And then Jesus gives the reason: “All this they will do to you because of my name, for they know nothing of him who sent me.”
On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo has depicted the creation of Adam. In that famous picture we see the finger of God reaching out to touch the finger of Adam and so to bring him to life. The power that is in God is transferred by this touch to the body of the newly created human being and Adam becomes a living person. It is a personal touch that transforms a lifeless thing into a living, breathing human. We can learn from Disney which says: “The personal touch is a way of life, a vital ingredient to our success.”
We are reminded today that we are chosen for love. We are sent out into the world to love one another. Sometimes we live as if we were sent into the world to compete with one another, to be critical of one another. How we relate to God always reveals how we will relate to people! And how we relate to people is an almost infallible indicator of how we relate to God and allow God to relate to us.
With the challenges we are facing in our world today regarding our faith, how open are we spiritually to the working of the Holy Spirit in our life and in the life of others? What do we truly value in this life? Jesus Christ will give us the power and the strength we need, but we need to be connected, because in and through Christ we can do all things.
Jesus’ peace is a commitment and investment of time, energy, and attitude in building God’s Kingdom through small, simple, and often hidden acts of selfless generosity and humble service. The peace of Jesus is a mindset; a constant seeking out of God’s presence in all things and places; an awareness of love, justice, and mercy; an understanding of our “connectedness” to God and to one another as children of the same God.
Feast of Saints Philip and James –
Saints Philip and James were simple, common, ordinary individuals. Jesus saw something in each one of them, however, if only their potential. We often only notice the outward appearance, but Jesus sees into the heart. What God expects from all of us, whatever our other strengths may be, is faithfulness. Fidelity to Christ is the chief mark of every true disciple.
Fifth Sunday of Easter –
We derive our spiritual life from Jesus Christ, the Vine; but our lives are sustained through our being connected with one another. Thomas Merton insisted: “No one enters heaven all by herself/himself. We reach God through a community, through one another.” Karl Rahner put it startlingly: “Unique individuals as we are, we are loved by God only because we belong to all others and because they belong to us.”
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker –
Parents owe their children room and space to grow up. Although Joseph was careful to instruct his son in the duties and obligations of his faith, he gave Jesus plenty of room to make those values his very own. We can imagine Joseph needing help in the family carpenter shop when Jesus was down at the synagogue discussing the scriptures with the rabbis or out in the desert searching his heart for God. We are reminded on this feast that parents hold the destiny of their children in their hands.
St. Pius V –
In his Last Supper farewell to his disciples, Jesus assures them that he goes ‘to prepare a place’ for them in the Father’s ‘house.’ As Christians, we live in the eternal hope of one day living in God’s dwelling place. But that place of hope and compassion and peace exists in the present, in the places we create, where the poor and sick are cared for, the fallen are lifted, and the lost and rejected are sought after and returned. This is the place we call the Church.
St. Catherina of Siena –
We constantly meet and accept Jesus in those whom God sends our way in need. How accepting are we of others? Do we say that we have accepted Jesus Christ but then have a hard time living and working with some people? Sometimes it is easier to accept strangers than those with whom we live. Before you say that you accept Jesus Christ weigh your words carefully and be sure you understand what you are saying and all its implications.