Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: only the view of the above.
Easter is leading to the Ascension Thursday this week. Then Feast of Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Even though these great Mysteries come each year in the Liturgy, at times I’m overcome by this richness of blessings.
It is important that we don’t look on these great events in the life of Jesus and of the Church, as ‘outside’ of us. If we are spectators rather than participants, we miss so much. In the Gospel today, Jesus brings us into the events that we are celebrating.
If I am told by a person, ‘I love you’, my life is enriched beyond measure. The scourge of loneliness and low self-esteem arises when I think that I could not possibly be loved as I am.
‘I love you’, must be among the most wonderful words any of us can hear. But, when Jesus speaks these words, the impact is all the greater. In what way does Jesus love you and me? He loves us in the same way as He is loved by his Father, God.
Jesus comes to live among us because of His love for us. He shows us that we are loved. The Cross is the greatest proof of God’s love for us. He did not spare His own Son.
Then, He asks us to show that we love each other. This is part of His plan of love. Without this, I can be lost in loneliness and isolation. But, once I am shown love, I know I am loveable. Once this is true and real, I believe more in the revelation of God’s love, not just for me but for all.
As a child, I was not a great athlete or football player. I was not fast, because I was over-weight. Words like ‘obesity’ had not then been invented. I was often called ‘fat’. In picking teams for a game of any sort, I was often last to be chosen. It hurt then, and the memory lingers still.
How wonderful it was for me when I first heard that God had chosen me for His team! God says, “You did not choose me, no, I chose you.” For a child who had not been chosen until there was nobody else, this is pure music. Being chosen by God is beautiful; this still brings tears of joy to my eyes. I’m so grateful to God.
Being chosen is good. Being given a ‘job’ by God is even better. To all, including priests and religious, Jesus says, “I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.” God doesn’t need any of us to go out and bear fruit – God is all powerful. He has chosen to want us for this most wonderful mission. He doesn’t ask us to carry a package of religious instructions for others. He asks each to be His message. This is serious.
It gets better. “Then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.” Is this true? It must be, because Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. Friendship with Jesus begins by His choosing and loving us; it becomes more likely that first, we will ask Him for what is good for others and then, for ourselves.
Ask Him this weekend in your prayer about what He wants to give His people in love. He will shower us with gifts beyond our wildest dreams.