6th Sunday of Easter 2023
Gonzaga Eastern Point Retreat House Marie Philomène Péan, D.Min
LOVE YOUR PARENTS!
Jesus in today’s scripture (Jn 14:15-21) invites us to keep God’s commandments. On this Sunday, in the United States, we’re also commemorating: Mother’s Day. When I was working as a Chaplain at Spaulding rehab in Boston, I admired an Italian woman who came every day to visit her mother. One Sunday right after her daughter made her first communion, she came with her, carrying a small cake. She said to her mom: “I wanted you to celebrate with your grand-daughter”.
Jesus declares: if you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will love you, give my Spirit and my father will also love you. You’ll be one of us. (Jn 14:15-21). The mission is not ours. God will send people on our way to help us like the apostles did in the first reading (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17). They sent Peter and John to the people of Samaria to attend to their needs.
St Ignatius in his contemplative prayer asked Mary to place him with her son. His request was like a two-edged sword. On one hand, you’ll feel like Peter at the transfiguration story telling Jesus: Master it is so good to be with you. On the other hand, you’ll get some criticism for doing God’s work. However, you will be consoled by St Peter’s words in the second reading: “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil: (1 Pt 3:15-18).
Friends, if you treat people like that Italian woman did for her mother, God will never leave you alone. If you love the stranger as you love those closest to you, you’ll receive outstanding rewards. Henry Nouwen pointed out: “Anyone who willingly enters into the pain of a stranger is truly a remarkable person.” It is in that same spirit that I would like to wish everyone who’s caring for a soul: Happy Mother’s Day!
May I invite you to pray the Taizé’s invocation in preparation for the feast of Pentecost: ‘Veni Sancte Spiritus’?