Bottom line: Jesus wants us to share his oneness with the Father - now.
At the end of next month we will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity: One God in three persons - the Father, his Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This Sunday Jesus gives us a glimpse of that mystery. He says, "The Father and I are one."
Jesus and his Father are one. How do we understand this unity? First we need to look at the human level. Jesus has the same human nature as you and I. In his humanity, he listens to the Father and does what the Father tells him. We saw this most dramatically during Holy Week, when Jesus faced the shame and humiliation of the cross. He begged his Father to take that "cup" of suffering away from him, but also added, "Not my will but thy will be done."
Jesus conformed his human will to the will of the Father. In his humanity he could say, "The Father and I are one."
But there is a deeper level of unity between Jesus and his Father. Jesus is not only human; he is divine. He and his Father are one being, one substance. Early Christian writers used this comparison: The unity of Jesus with his Father, they said, is like the unity of a spring of water and the fountain that emerges from it. The spring and the fountain are distinct, but they have a single reality - the same water constitutes each one. Just so, Jesus and his Father are one being, one substance.
Jesus is one with the Father in both his humanity and his divinity. Today he intimates that he wants you and me to share that unity. He speaks about us hearing his voice and following him. And that he will "know" us and give us "eternal life." Now, Jesus is not talking here about something that kicks in after we die. No, that new life ("eternal life") begins now - or it does not begin at all. Jesus wants us to share his oneness with the Father - now.
The reading from Revelation gives a picture of the new life: a vast throng from every nation, all of them wearing elegant white robes and hold palm branches. They have their attention focused on the "Lamb," Jesus. For sure, St. John is referring to a heavenly reality - the Church Triumph - but he also includes us here on earth - the Church militant.
In the first reading we see two great apostles facing obstacles. No one likes insults and humiliations, but Paul and Barnabas accepted hardships so that they could call people to Christ and his Church.
This Sunday we have a practical way we can support the Church - the Annual catholic Appeal. Before asking you to fill out the pledge envelope, I want to ask something else: To take a step back and think about the privilege of being part of Jesus' Church - whether young or old, whether doing well or going through hard times, you can take part. I will explain more shortly. I ask you now to listen to our witness speaker. A couple from our parish will speak about participation in the Annual Catholic Appeal. With a prayer in your heart, please give your full attention to..
From Archives (Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
Parish Picture Album
My bulletin column (April 25, 2010)
St. Mary of the Valley Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru