Easter 6 Homily LOVE AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Published Sun, 09/05/2021 by

Acts 10: 25-48; I John 4: 7-10; John 15: 9-17

The Christian life is nothing other than a life of love.  “God is love,” says St John – and we were made in his image and likeness.  When we lost that likeness to God through sin, the Father sent his Son and Spirit into the world to restore us to friendship with him.  Our destiny in heaven is – as God always intended – for us to share in that eternal exchange of love which is the very essence of the Trinity.  On our pilgrim way, in this life, we grow in our capacity to share in the divine love by practicing, day by day, love of God and love of neighbour.

At the Last Supper, in his high priestly prayer, Jesus offered to his Heavenly Father a prayer which was consummated in his self-offering on the Cross by which he was glorified – that completely generous self-offering with which we are associated in and through the Mass.  And at the same time, at the Last Supper, he gave us a command – to love one another, just as he has loved us.

Going forth from every Mass, we are summoned to bear fruit, to love and serve the Lord.  The grace of union with Christ we have received in Holy Communion is not a gift given to us only for ourselves, but a gift to be actualised in the world through an active loving from which no-one is excluded, but which has as its particular object the poor, the sick and the needy.  In this way, as members of the Church, one with – branches of – the vine which is Christ himself, we are called to bear fruit, fruit that will last.  And in this endeavour, if we call upon him, the Spirit comes to strengthen and assist us too – just as he did so powerfully upon those listening to Peter at the house of Cornelius.  No one is excluded from this outpouring of divine grace if they reverence God in their hearts and do what is right.

In two weeks time, on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd May at 4 o’clock, Bishop Patrick is leading online prayer for the eve of Pentecost to mark the launch of Caritas, a new ministry supporting charitable service in parishes across the Diocese of Nottingham.  It will be over in time for the Vigil Mass at 6pm.  In the bulletin you’ll find details of how to participate in this significant event which marks an important new beginning in the life of our local Church, supporting each parish as we seek a fresh anointing from the Spirit to reach out, through ventures of justice and peace, and care for creation.  With the support and inspiration of Caritas, it is the Bishop’s wish to assist us to fulfil our vocation as disciples and missionary disciples so as to bear fruit in our personal Christian lives and in our parishes, fruit that will last.

MICHAEL KIRKHAM