Sixth Sunday of Easter: John 14:15-21

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Dear Followers of the Resurrected Christ,

This weekend we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Sister Mary Link, FMA. We celebrate the work of Jesus Christ in the life and vocation of Sister Mary. I am so grateful for her life of prayer and her ministry here in the TriCommunity for these past six years. I rejoice with all of you in her 50 years dedicated to God and her ministry of education. Blessings to you, Sister Mary!

Today’s gospel (John 14:15-21) invites us into a true communion with Jesus Christ. Love is what binds us to Jesus and to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. This love unites us in faith also with people. Jesus says that he will not leave us orphans and will not break the bond that he established with us while he was on earth.

The word “orphan” is important in this gospel. We are all the Father’s adoptive children in baptism. Baptism forms us in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. We belong to God. God belongs to us. One of the key aspects of being human is to “belong”. Belonging feeds the deep hunger of our lives to be in community and to have our own lives acknowledged, cared for and loved. Our very being aches to have such a home in our world and in God.

Being an orphan is to be separated from what we most desire. Jesus says that will never happen because he will send us an advocate, the Holy Spirit, when he leaves the earth. This gospel is preparing us for the celebration of Pentecost in a few weeks. The role of the Holy Spirit is to bind us further into the mystery of love. The Holy Spirit teaches us this union will never be broken. We are washed clean, forgiven and adopted in the Trinity in our baptism. This bond will never be changed or bruised. We are God’s. God’s love is within our lives forever. We will never be orphans again.

This message of our bond with God is then lived out in our world. We are called to offer this same bond to other people, especially people who most need love, hope and encouragement in our world. We move out in our world to unite a lost child back into our families. We reach out to befriend people who do not have human families, especially the orphans and widows. We blend our families with people who are strangers, immigrants and people who are ill and in need. This bond of love that is established with God and God’s people remains the source of hope for many who are lost and forgotten in this world through the faith that is lived within our lives, families and parish communities.

Live in the bond that God has established within you. Live God’s love toward a world where people are lost, alone and afraid. No one shall be an orphan.

Blessings in this Easter Season,

Fr. Ron

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