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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

6th SUNDAY OF EASTER

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Next week in our Parish we begin the Parish Mission which is being led by the Ceili Community the mission has as its theme the beatitudes. During the first week the members of the mission team will be knocking on peoples doors inviting them to come to the events in Church during the second week. I think the mission will be about reconnecting the people with the Church in this part of the world. So many have left the Church for so many reasons and many others have left and have begun to find the way back to the Faith. I always have held the great belief that Faith, Religion and the Church are really about real people and their everyday situations and I am constantly reaffirmed in this conviction. So many people have left the Church and are now starting to return again. Last Sunday the deacon who had served in our parish Andrew Black was ordained to the Priesthood for service in the diocese of Down and Connor. We had our Parish celebration on Tuesday night with Fr. Andrew and number priests from the locality it was a joy filled celebration.

Our Gospel for this Sunday is  a reading from the gospel of John in which Jesus tells us ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. The love of God is easy for those who see God as a loving and faithful Father. St. Therese of Lisieux,  was a master of the spiritual life tells us about the love which is its essence. She taught the “little way” of childlike simplicity and obedience to God as the way to grow in love.

 “It seems to me St. Therese said that there will be no judgment for victims of love, or rather, the good God will hasten to reward, with eternal delights, His own love which He will see burning in their hearts.” Love of God is tied to the commandments, because the commandments are the love of God in action. Those who love God long to be holy as he is holy and so live by the commandments. But they do it out of love not because they have to. “In the heart of the Church I will be love,” St. Therese exclaimed upon discovering her true vocation. Though bound by the walls of her cloister, she knew unlimited freedom to reach the heights of holiness through courageous devotion to charity. We too are students of the love of God. The commandments are the lessons by which we will master the love of God our Father in thought, word and action.

Jesus chose his followers to carry out God’s plan of salvation. He chooses us today to do the same. By allowing us to participate in his work of redemption, he gives us a personal stake in the Kingdom of God. “God …enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors…they then fully become “God’s fellow workers” and co-workers for his kingdom.” (CCC 307)

Love is the best way to become his “co-worker,” since it reveals the reason he made the world to others and affirms our friendship with the creator. Love changes everything it touches. It tells us to stop bragging about this or that. It enhances our reputation. It denies the power of position and wealth which we sometimes feel is ours by right, it raises us up as true leaders. It might take away the advantage of our personal ideas on any topic. However, It connects us in unimaginable ways to God and to one another.

 Divine love transcends mere emotion. It becomes the lifeline to God. And it forms the basis of real community where everyone is valued and none are left out. It is inexplicable in theory, yet easily seen in action. Wherever God loves, he acts. Wherever he acts, he is there with us. HE IS WITH US simply because he loves us and the love of God knows no bounds; we remember the love that God has for each and every one of us each time we look at the Cross. We also remember that Jesus the son of God who gave up his life on the Cross out of love for us is our saviour.

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