Seventh Sunday of Easter
Psalms 97:1-2, 6-7, 9
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20
“Father, the world also does not know you.” These are the words of Christ directed to His Father in this weekend’s Gospel and how true they ring out to us who see the world today. A world still marred and jarred by the pandemic, a world in shock and pain as the war in Ukraine continues, a world aghast again at another senseless tragedy as our children are killed in their schools, and a world where the most innocent and fragile of life is snuffed out in horrible ways. We can see very clearly that the world does not know God. A world without God is a world without peace, justice, mercy, or goodness. A world without God is one where love does not reign and where truth is extinguished.
The irony of this is that God came into the world not to condemn it but to transform it and to transform His redeemed and saved creation through his Passion and rise to new life in His Resurrection. This weekend we see again the evils that can take place in the world, but we must see the gift that we have received as Christians and step into action strengthened by the Holy Spirit. This past Thursday we celebrated the Ascension of Christ into Heaven where he now sits and reigns at the right hand of the Father interceding constantly on our behalf. Christ did not abandon us by ascending to the Father, but He has equipped us with all that we need to be his hands and feet, his presence and action in the world. We are watered through Baptism, we are nourished and strengthened in the Eucharist, we are anointed as leaders and heirs in Confirmation, and forgiven by true absolution. All that we need is here and now but how do are we effected.
We need to recognize the great responsibility we have as members of Christ’s Body. Christ who is in the Father and the Father who is in Christ means that we who have taken on Christ by our baptism also are with Him and if we are with the Father and the Son then it is the Spirit who not only gives life but sends us on mission. A mission to bring ALL into Christ, the lame, the weak, the rich, the poor, the ill, the ignored, the angry…we are the ones who do the work. It is not just the clergy who is to spread the message of salvation but the members who live their lives in a way that transform all around them from your workplaces to your schools. Week after week God gathers us in this place for the refreshment and rest that is needed to go back out and do the work.
The author of Revelation this morning reminds us of who Christ is – the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end – all time belongs to Him, and we cooperate with His Divine plan. We do not have the answers to tragedies, we cannot always understand the reasoning behind things happening in the world, but we must always trust that in the eternal now, God’s reign of love, that it all makes sense. Our trust is not a naïve notion but an action of the soul willing to believe in a good God who loves each and every one of us who will always lead us to His best.
This does not mean that our lives are easy or that loving the Lord does not take work and time; as we can see in martyrdom of Stephen from our first reading today; that his killers did not condemn him for what he was preaching but rather they covered their ears unwilling to hear the message of Christ. They covered their ears so as not to receive the Spirit of the news of Christ’s redemption. This week may we keep our ears open to hear God’s call and head it – no matter the price; and may our practice of the faith lead others to hear His love in the simple actions of our daily lives. Christ, Risen and Ascended, hears us we need to hear Him.
By: Deacon Christopher Pujol