The Second reading at Mass on 5th Sunday of Easter, tomorrow, reminds us of the challenge to be real and authentic, and of the love and care that God has for us.
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
1 John 3:18-24
Jesus shows us what it is to be fully human, fully alive. In him we see perfection.
In ourselves we see foibles and fallibility. We stumble and stagger.
We are in good company, in this. Look at the disciples in the Gospels, if nowhere else. Failing is sad, sometimes humiliating. But it does not silence the message, and it really ought not to make us lose hope. The love and the compassion, and the assistance, of the Lord Jesus is there for us, even as it was there for the disciples.
In their passing on of the Gospel the first disciples included their stories, their absurdities, to remind us we’re not alone with ours.
The passage from John we read today, and hear tomorrow, urges us to take courage and, finally, to hope not in our own abilities only but in what is achieved when we strive to live in communion with the Lord and allow him to live in communion with us.
Photograph of the stained glass window showing the rescue of St Peter comes from the church of St Finn Bar, Fowey, Cornwall. (c) 2004, Allen Morris.