Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

My dear Friends:

How are you? Thank you for joining me, and our Faith Community, in this reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter.

The message of today’s gospel could be summed up as follows:

1. Love…How much Jesus loves us. He invites us to respond to Him.

2. Spirit…He will send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.

3. Presence… of the Holy Spirit will be experienced by each of us, and within our Faith Communities.

4. Community…we become Communities of Loving Witness.

We could ask ourselves, what is this Love? Rumi once said that Love is the house of God, and you are living in that house. Essentially, our Divine Romance is that ‘house of God’s love’ in which we are invited to dwell. Our lives, words and actions, both as individuals, and Faith Communities, then become living commentaries of that dwelling place and that Divine Romance. I think the great Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, expresses very well this dwelling in, and ‘in-dwelling’, of the Holy Spirit, when he wrote:

What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The I and the you vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.

I think this is what St. John is trying to express in this Sunday’s gospel!

The ways in which losing oneself in the Belovedare lived out in daily life are mirrored in the lives of countless people. We can see it in the heroic self-sacrifices of the Front-Linersresponding to the medical, physical, spiritual and material needs of populations. It can be in the ‘compassionate’ and ‘kind’ telephone call to a neighbour in lockdown or isolation; or a food parcel placed on a stranger’s doorstep. It can be as a ray of hope, and strengthening word of encouragement, to stressed parents. It can be a sensitivity, and personable awareness towards others, when we are outdoors. I guess what I am trying to say is, that it is not just a case of the ‘polite, Christian, thing to do’, but words and actions which flow spontaneously from the fusion of our souls with the Beloved.It is that fusion with God that empowers and enables us to experience what Kazantzakis refers to as an enlightenment which empowers us to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.

So, my dear friends, we are not alone! God dwells within us, as we dwell within Him! We are fused as one with the Beloved. In these ‘interesting’, challenging, and sometimes, confusing times, remember that healing, loving, hope-filled embrace of God. Because…as Shams of Tabrizi once said, we believe that God sees us from above…But he actually sees us from the inside.

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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