Fifth Sunday of Easter Reflection

My dear Friends:

How are you? Well, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. If it is cloudy today, we know that the sun is still there, radiantly bright, behind those clouds!

This Sunday’s readings are very interesting! Even in the early days of the Church, ‘Faith’ Communities had their tensions and challenges. It would appear the widows and orphans of the Greek-speaking Jews (Hellenists), felt they were getting a raw deal in the distribution of charitable relief from the Hebrews (Aramaic-speaking Jews). In this relief work the Hebrews seemed to favour their own, Aramaic-speaking clan! The Hellenists were not amused!

The response to this human dilemma gave birth to the creation of the diaconate! These deacons (diakonia), a number of whom were Greek-speaking, Hellenists, ensured the fair distribution of relief to all those in need. God’s love, dwelling within them, opened the eyes of their hearts and empowered them to see beyond ethnicities, cultures and religious traditions.

During this anniversary of VE Day, and in the midst of this Covid19, we see the ways in which suffering and pain can break down the walls of separation and division, and give birth to feats of humbling self-sacrifice, boundless compassion, courage and generosity. On Good Friday, Jesus’ disciples felt as if their world had come to an end. They were surrounded by pain, hurt, disappointment and shattered hopes and dreams. Possibly, very much as some of us are feeling today.

However, as we can see in the readings of today, the Risen Lord is just as much at work in us today, as he was among our sisters and brothers in the Early Church. Like the loving and protective Good Shepherd of last Sunday’s liturgy, He now rolls back the stones which entomb us in darkness of petty tribalism, class, ethnicities and traditions, and calls us forward as the bearers of His Healing, His Light, His Hope and His Love amid His global family. This is the unique journey of each one of our lives as we try to harness the energies of God’s love. That is what our Divine Romance with God is about…when we become Professional Lovers and, in the words of the Great Mystic, we realise that we are not a mere human drop in the ocean, but an entire ocean of God’s love in a drop!

Remember me as loving you,

Fr. Antony

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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