for Sunday, May 29, 2011
We are moving into the period looking towards the Ascension and towards the
coming of the Holy Spirit - Pentecost. To love someone is to listen to the
person and to respond to the needs of the person and follow that person's
word. We can understand how important this is, even at the level of human
love. If we say that we love another human being, it has to mean more than
just having some feeling of attraction for that person. We must become
committed to the person, seeking to understand the person and do what is
best for the person. The feeling of loving another person is often more
just about ourselves than about the other person. True love focuses on the
other person and responds to the other person.
The Acts of the Apostles in today's first readings helps us understand
that people were really changed in their actions, not just in their
feelings. The Holy Spirit comes almost as a bond between the changed
actions and the feelings of the person. Unless the feelings are
accompanied by changed actions, then the feelings remain only feelings and
not the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The First Letter of Saint Peter, from which is taken our second reading
today speaks about how much better it is to suffer for doing good rather
than to suffer for doing evil. This is a clear reference to suffering for
the sake of following the way of the Lord Jesus. Anyone who seriously
follows Jesus will soon know that this following will lead to some
rejection by others, to people making fun of us for taking religious too
seriously, to having to separate ourselves from any actions or words that
are not in accord with the teachings of our Lord or of His Church.
The reading from John's Gospel today simply reminds us that following
Jesus means being faithful to His word, to His teaching and to His example.
Once we begin to follow Him and learn that at times we will be rejected or
made fun of by others, we have the choice to continue with Him or to take
We are invited to love Jesus today and to listen to His word and to put
His word into action in our lives. It is the Advocate that can help us do
this. Come, Holy Spirit!
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: