St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

6th Sunday of Easter, Year B (10 May 2015)

1. Why are we here?

Some of you could say: "It is just my will". Or: "I love someone". And that is right. But it is not enough. It doesn't explain everything. It is true that we want to be here because of a love. But what love? Actually if I am here, then I must have heard or at least felt, an invitation. It is not just my initiative. It is my will, but it is my will upon another will, it is my response to an invitation.

Dear people, I am speaking about something important in life. Love in life is very important. But the very beginning of love in us is not our love to others, but the very fact that we are loved. That God loves us. At the origin of our existence is the will of Other. How do I know this?

St John wrote it in a letter very clearly:

"God’s love for us was revealed

when God sent into the world his only Son

so that we could have life through him;

this is the love I mean:

not our love for God,

but God’s love for us when he sent his Son

to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away."

Jesus says today what is at the beginning of love within us:

"As the Father has loved me,

so I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love

than to lay down his life for his friends.

You did not choose me:

no, I chose you."

 

2. Last week a young woman of about twenty years old came to me asking to be baptised. Why? Most people approaching faith and Church are people who take their own longing for happiness seriously, people aware of their need for more, for something not yet perfectly defined, for something else, something mysterious, God. The second factor that brings people to us is the experience of knowing and sharing life to some extent with believers, with people who are like the ambassadors of the love of God to them. Anyway God touches people and starts processes in a way that is unexpected for all.

Let us listen to one case, the one of the today's reading:

"Peter addressed them: ‘God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.’ ... While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners... On the pagans too, since they could be heard speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God. Peter himself then said, ‘Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as much as we have?’ He then gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards they begged him to stay on for some days."

Getting involved in the life of the community in a proper way, not just in a tangential way, not putting formal boundaries, we come to know others, we come to see God at work in other's lives. This is a great grace. I revive, as if reborn, when I see the Holy Spirit coming down on others. It is the best way to revive the own encounter with Christ: to see Him at work, present again.