‘His love is brought to perfection in us’ (1 John 4:12)
Reflections on the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (May 16, 2021): ACTS 1:15-17,20-26; PS 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; 1 JN 4:11-16; JN 17:11-19
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We know that soon we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Today we hear more about why this great gift is so necessary.
We have heard a great deal about love from the writings of St. John in these weeks since Easter. And that is true today as well. In the second reading we are told that, “if we love one another, God remains in us and His love is brought to perfection in us” (1 John 4:12). It is rather overwhelming to pause and consider the idea of God living within us. Moreover, the thought that God’s love comes to perfection in us, in His people, seems incredible; that is, unless we realize that love has its meaning in being shared. God created us, His precious people, because He already loved us. He longs for our love in turn. He also wants us to love each other. This ongoing relationship with the love of the Blessed Trinity and the children who are called to live in this love, reciprocate this love, and communicate this love – this is the perfection that God seeks.
So on this Sunday when we move from consideration of Jesus Ascension into heaven to those left behind. We know that soon we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Today we hear more about why this great gift is so necessary. We who embrace our lives as followers of Christ must accept the need for grace. We cannot walk in the way of our Savior by ourselves. The world’s temptations, the lure of evil, the self-centeredness that is so much a part of our humanity – all these call us away from God’s love and our ability to love others. In the Gospel reading, Jesus prays to His Father on behalf of His disciples, then and now: “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world and I consecrate Myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth” (John 17:17-19). Only by carrying the truth of God’s love and goodness in our hearts can we become the loved and loving children that He created us be.
Suggested missionary action: We can commit to praying each day for missionaries and the men, women, and children to whom they dedicate their lives. We can ask Almighty God to help and guide missionaries in caring for the spiritual and material needs of their people.