Dear brothers and sisters,
When we want to know how something should be, we look to an expert in that field. For example, a serious basketball player will look to Michael Jordan or Stephen Curry in order to see how the game should be played. A writer will read Shakespeare or Charlotte Bronte or Hemmingway in order to see how writing should be done. When we want to know how to love, we look to God who is love. In the todays’ Gospel reading (John 17:20-26) Jesus tells us that there’s a standard for love. It’s very simple: it’s a person. It’s himself; and the great lesson he shows us today is that love seeks union. Love is measured by unity. First he points to his union with the Father. Jesus and the Father are one. Then he points to his union with each one of us. Isn’t that amazing? Jesus is telling us that we can have a relationship with the Father. We are created for God; only in God will our hearts finally be at rest. As St Augustine famously put it, “You have created us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” There’s more: Jesus says something that should make us do cartwheels in the aisles of this church. He says: “Father, they are your gift to me.” Who is he talking about? Each one of us. Christ sees each one of us as a gift. Christ receives each person as a gift; and He asks the Father that the very love of God might dwell in us. Through Christ, the very life of God is within us. Because of all that, Christ can ask us to live united to him and to each other. It’s his love that enables us to do that. It’s his power that enables us to do that. Christ calls us to be saints, and a saint is someone who is united to Christ, and in Christ, is united to others through faith. He calls us to witness to the world that he is alive, that he is not just an idea or a nice picture in a Bible. He is real! Our best witness to that is the unity that comes from love.
Next weekend at all Masses, we will kick off an early-summer series entitled Comparison Trap. There’s no win in comparison. Let’s face it: not a day goes by that you’re not tempted to glance to the left and to the right to see how you measure up to the people around you. But it doesn’t stop there, does it? You’re tempted to compare your children to other children, your spouse to other spouses! It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting. It’s a TRAP! If this is a message for you or for anyone you know, you’re invited to check out the series which will go for three weeks, starting the weekend of June 8 and 9 at all weekend Masses.