Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 8, 2022
This Sunday’s Gospel Reading is one of the shortest, but one most powerful proclaimed at Eucharist. It offers a lesson that our world today, is in desperate need of relearning…. assuming that humankind ever fully understood what Jesus is telling us here.
Let’s start with the ending.
We believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God.
This passage concludes: THE FATHER AND I ARE ONE! This declaration of unity helps us to better understand what it means for us to be created in the image and likeness of God.
God created us to reflect that unity…. that Divine ONENESS…by living together in peace and justice. We are led by the Good Shepherd, to move TOGETHER as one flock, one Body, towards a deeper union with our Creator. No one can separate us…or divide us…EXCEPT FOR US!
We have free will, and we ourselves can make the decision to leave the flock and move in a different direction. Sadly, many do choose to break away from one another…away from peace and justice…away from God. And tragically…that seems to be the direction many are choosing at this time. Rather than coming together as God’s people…as one… human family…. with mutual respect…care…and concern…AND TOLERANCE…we are becoming more and more judgmental and divided.
The tragedy in Ukraine should not come as any great surprise.
Countries all over the world are separating themselves from the human family, and going their own way. The very predictable result is…WAR….VIOLENCE…GREAT INJUSTICE AND SUFFERING.
Civil strife…and even civil war is epidemic. We Americans are not immune from this terrible spiritual disease. We are more divided in our opinions and views…maybe almost as divided as we were during our own civil war.
Way back in 2002, Catholic theologians (Franciscan) Fr. Richard Rohr and (Cistercian) Fr. Thomas Keating co-authored a book in which they wrote:
The root of violence is the illusion of separation—from God, from Being itself, and from being one with everyone and everything. When we don’t know we are connected, we will invariably resort to some form of violence to get the dignity and power we lack. Contemplation of the gospel message gradually trains us not to make so much of differences, but to return to who we are—our True Selves in God—which is always beyond any nationality, religion, skin color, gender, sexuality, or any other possible labels.
If you spend some time contemplating this very brief Gospel passage and then dare to ask yourself: Do I hear The Lord’s voice?
Yes? But are you listening…really, really listening?
Do you understand what He is telling us?
Can you accept the call to be part ONE HUMAN FAMILY…caring for, listening to, tolerating and loving one another…even those who are different? Even enemies? If you can, you are indeed part of the flock that will never perish.