5th Sunday of Easter, Sunday 19th May 2019
What the Children teach us: Last Sunday morning, just before First Holy Communion, one young boy said: “I thought it would take forever to reach this day!” (i) His child-like joy and innocence touched our hearts. St. Pope John Paul II told us that children help us to be holy – they teach us the way of love. Reclaiming a lost childhood - The older we become in life, the more we wish to reclaim something of our lost childhood. Often we long for the simplicity, joy, openness and spontaneity of those days. “Happy those early days when I shone in my angel infancy or taught my soul to fancy aught but a white celestial thought” (ii)
More from the children - In the First Holy Communion programme the children were given a new meaning for the cross of Jesus. There are two stems to the cross, one vertical leading to God and the other horizontal, leading to our neighbour.
School days Catechism - In school we used to say, “You must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and all your heart and all your soul” and then at great pace, and almost under our breath, “and your neighbour as yourself!” In loving my neighbour, I love God.
The Word for Today - We are back at the last Supper again. Jesus is giving us a new commandment, “love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.”
A Love that is always cross shaped.” (iii) To love another as Jesus loves me will cost not less than everything. It cost Jesus his life on the cross of sacrifice. It will cost me, in terms of sacrificing earthly ambition, the need for reward or recognition, the need to control – it will always demand that I subject my thinking and my will to whatever the will of God is for me. Love is indeed always cross shaped.
i John Dalrymyple: Costing Not Less than Everything: Notes on Holiness Today, (The title is part-quote from T.S.Eliot, The Four Quartets)
ii Henry Vaughan: The Retreat.
iii J.G.Donders: Praying and Preaching the Sunday Gospel, Orbis Books.
Fr Michael cm