Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48
I John 4:7-10
John 15: 9-17
Telling you the news of my leaving last weekend was rough. This past week was overwhelming with calls, emails, and notes. Thank you very much! I know I still have to get back to some of you. In all of that, I am here to tell you there is a God! I met with Fr. Tom this week and he is very excited about coming here. The readings today are perfect for me, and I hope that you will feel the same.
I would like to think for a moment of our friends. How long did it take for someone to become our friend? When did we know that someone was going to be our friend? Our readings today redefine what it means to be a friend, and this is good news.
In our second reading, we heard, “Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves knows God!” Wow! This takes love to a whole new level because it is of God. When we love we do a God-like thing, and this is life changing. Jesus knows we spend a lifetime searching for love and when we things do not turn out as we want them to we grab onto whatever we can to hang on. Doing a God-like thing in love is willing to die to ourselves, is willing to let go and let God. Remember, there is a God!
In our Gospel, Jesus is going away, and he wants his disciples to know one thing, and that is he loves them very much. However, he does not want to say goodbye as their master, but as a friend. Jesus says, “I no longer call you a slave, but I call you friends!” Jesus is redefining his relationship with his disciples from their master to a friend. He wants them to know how close he is to them.
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus gives his disciples great commissioning to go out to preach, baptize, and to heal. The Gospel writer John simply says, “If you want to be my disciples if you want to know my love, then go and love and it will bear much fruit.”
You are my friends, and I will never forget you and there is nothing that will come between that love. May we know that love is not ending and that love is of God? This is how we will be able to hold each other in our hearts.