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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

 

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This weekend we celebrate the 6th Sunday of Easter. It seems no time since we began Holy Week on Palm Sunday and now we are heading into Ascension and then Pentecost Sundays and then we resume  the Sundays of Ordinary Time. The readings this Sunday contain many comparisons of those “in the world” and those who have life “in the Spirit”.  The truth is that we all live in the world and are constantly influenced by other people, places, and events good and bad.   In this Sundays  Gospel Jesus promises us that “I will not leave you orphaned; I will come back to you and you will have life.” Our faith, nurtured in this great paschal season, tells us that God-made-flesh is God-with-us, never abandoning us and always filling us with life.Today many live without belief in the existence of truth. Some use the word without understanding its authentic meaning, as if it can denote only a personal opinion, a thing that is “true” only for the individual who holds that idea. This widespread relativism, has crept with increasing power like an infection into the body of the Church.

The members of Christ’s Body are ever affected by the same forces and currents as is every human person. For the Catholic Christian, however, there can never be any confusion as to the existence of truth. There can be no Catholic faith without truth, for Christ founded the Church for the purpose of teaching the truth, endowing her with the gift of the Holy Spirit by which the truth is taught infallibly in matters of faith and morals in every age. Reverence the Lord in your hearts,” Peter tells us in today’s reading. If God is not revered as sacred nothing is sacred anymore. This is so true in many aspects of today’s culture Maybe this accounts for the growing break-down in families and many other things as well. And in a timely warning to those of us  engaged in religious debate, Peter urges them  and ultimately you and me to make our arguments “with courtesy and respect.” Peter makes deep moral demands on us. As a Christian how fitted am I to give an account of my faith? Is my understanding of the Christian message a few’ do’s and don’ts’ and some scraps of information remembered from school?

Do I appreciate there is a Christian manner of action? Am I conscious of how others are persecuted for their beliefs, or feel a sense of solidarity with Christians who suffer elsewhere? As a member of a body which was born in persecution and whose head suffered on the cross, am I sensitive to the pain of all who are oppressed, and seek to alleviate their persecution? Is a document such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights something that I consider should interest me as a Christian? Do I support those who support human rights? Painful questions, but can we be true to our origin if we shy away from them? May we go forward in faith with one another and more importantly with God realising that god is with us through all that life throws at us.

 

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