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Homily: 7th Sunday of Easter [A]

We’re not without a word and a vision of who God is, but even with that, we will never explore the fullness of that. The movement on God’s part to reveal to us something gives us endless matterful reflection and for rational thought, and that’s what theology tries to do.
– Elizabeth Johnson

The readings for the seventh Sunday of Easter can be found here.

The scripture scholar will explain that this reading comes in two parts. In the first part Jesus returns in glory, having accomplished the work of the Father. There is the repeated theme of unity between God and Jesus and an emphasis on the dedication of Jesus to the completion of His work. In the second part Jesus sends his disciples into the world to take His place. Jesus’ words give us the indication that He has already left the world.

The verses for this Sunday are part of a prayer for the disciples. Read verses 1-26 to see the complete prayer. Some scripture scholars will tell you that Jesus’ prayer for the disciples parallels the “Our Father” prayer. The parallel themes include: God is addressed as Father, glory is given to God, carrying out the will of God is mentioned, and there is a petition to be delivered from the “evil one.”

If you are interested in Bible study you may want to read all of these verses to see the parallels for yourself. Note, when you get to verse 26 John includes you and me in the prayer by directing the final request on behalf of the readers. That was nice of him.

the Jesus of John’s Gospel says, “This is eternal life,” present tense, and then it is followed immediately by, “to know God.” To know God is eternal life, to know God in the present is to participate in the life of the age to come, here and now… At the center of John’s Gospel is this affirmation that it is possible to know God in the here and now, and that knowing is the life of the age to come.
– Marcus Borg

The message on this Sunday is simply to continue what Jesus began and build the kingdom of heaven on earth. Every age is dedicated to carrying on this mission, thus to know God and eternal life. Jesus showed us how to do it and passed it on to the disciples, who picked up where He left off. The disciples handed it on and now it is our turn. It is not easy, but we have the Holy Spirit to guide us.

If you are waiting to experience eternal life in some distant future the reading this Sunday is for you. The time is here and now to be a participant. To know God you must be active just as Jesus was active. We need to love God and love our neighbor. We need to eat with the Pharisees and the Tax Collectors. We need to seek out those in our communities who are marginalized and show them the love of God.

Here are Jesus’ideas: First, he claimed that the Kingdom of God was not just imminent but already here, was not just coming soon but had already started… Second, Jesus claimed that in this new understanding of God’s Kingdom, people were called to make it happen. They could enter the Kingdom here and now. They should take the Kingdom upon them. Remember, of course, that the coming of the Kingdom meant to do the will of God on earth, according to the Lord’s Prayer… Third, Jesus told his companions to go out and do exactly what he was doing. By the time the authorities came for Jesus, the Kingdom movement could no longer be stopped simply by executing Jesus.
John Dominic Crossan

If you take one thing away from this homily today it should be that we are here to carry on the mission of Jesus. We are called to know God here and now, and knowing requires us to heal the sick. If we really know God we will experience eternal life. Isn’t that what we all want? Go out and get it.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

God bless,

About neodecaussade

I am a Roman Catholic quester. You will find that I have scripture based academic interests. You will discover that I am a conservative Catholic but I am also prone to heterodox tendencies. I am versed in highly pietistic traditionalist practices but I am not a traditionalist. I am interested in entering a discussion on the future of the Roman Catholic Church. I would like to have a role in discussing how the future Church will be shaped.

2 responses »

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  2. #LOVE
    That is the only command.

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