The more we encounter our Risen Lord, the more our hearts are transformed. A transformed heart is a heart that loves more and more generously. St. John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 12:26), the only apostle who stood faithfully at the foot of the Cross, the first apostle to reach to the tomb, knew the Risen Lord. He thus knew that, to be a faithful disciple and friend of Jesus who participates in the mystery of Jesus’ Resurrection, is to love more and more generously. And, such knowledge moves him to exhort us:
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. (this Sunday’s second reading, 1 John 3:16-24).
In the light of this, St. Gregory the Great (+604), Pope and patron saint of musicians and singers, tells us
The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.
St. Augustine (+430) asks “What does love look like?” In responding, he points us in the right direction:
It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of humanity. That is what love looks like.
It is only by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we can love this generously. It is only God’s love that can move us to hear and do what Mother Teresa encourages us to do:
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
Beseeching the Holy Spirit with you,
There is a verse in this Sunday’s second reading that is, for me, one of the most moving in the Bible:
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
Saint John speaks to us as a friend, “writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). He reminds us of the deepest reality of who we are. “We are God's children—to which he adds “now”. Right now. At this moment. And, he declares this unconditionally, to remind us that this is true no matter what: no matter what we may feeling or not feeling, no matter what difficulty or incredible joy has befallen us. We are God’s children now and no matter what because we are so by God’s gracious doing. Such “divine filiation” (“the deepest mystery of the Christian vocation”, as Pope John Paul II says) is sheer gift. And, “the gifts of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). In other words, we will never cease to be God’s children. We never need worry.
Saint John also reaffirms the certain promise of our future final—albeit mysterious—transformation: “When he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is”. “We will see him as he is”—upon our deathbed or atthe Second Coming of Christ. And, when we finally see God, we will be fully transformed. We traditionally speak of such immediate vision as “beatific” (from the Latinbeatificus, meaning “making happy”). Our God is a supremely happy God, and His only intention is to make us happy in Him. The happiness begins now and no matter what—increasingly to the degree that we let go and let God. One day, one eternity, this happiness will be complete. Indeed, our hope is set on this.
Sharing in God’s happiness with you,
servant in our Lord
From the desk of the Rector