Teaching us how to love – and how to live
Reflections on the readings for the Second Sunday of Easter (April 18, 2021): ACTS 3:13-15,17-19; PS 4:2,4,7-8,9; I JN 2:1-5; LK 24:35-48
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We still tend to put our desires before the preferences, and even the needs, of our neighbors. However, what we do have now, through Christ’s sacrifice, is the chance to change by entrusting our lives...
In the liturgical readings for today we hear St. John in his first letter tell the early Christians that God expects them to adhere to the commandments and avoid sin. But John realizes that even the most ardent followers of Christ are capable of giving in to temptation and selfishness. We must rely on our Savior’s mercy to truly live up to the faith we profess. And, when we fail, to seek His forgiveness. “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). In all the time since the Beloved Apostle wrote that letter, it is still true. Sadly, it seems just as easy today in the 21st century to put ourselves ahead of God, and our will before His own. We still tend to put our desires before the preferences, and even the needs, of our neighbors. However, what we do have now, through Christ’s sacrifice, is the chance to change by entrusting our lives to our Redeemer and King. If we sincerely give our hearts and souls to Him, He can transform us into the treasured sons and daughters of God we were created to be.
The ultimate hope for people spoken of by Old Testament prophets was made real in Christ, in all His humanity and divinity. He came to teach us how to love and how to live by loving us and laying down His life for us. While we may still sin more often than we like to admit, we know we have another choice. Just as Jesus stood up after collapsing on the dusty way to Calvary, we can ask Him to help us get up after we fall. He offers us the opportunity to repent and receive His forgiveness. In Him we can be transformed, to become His own. It might seem simplistic to “try, try again”, but that really is what our Lord asks of us. Today, we can make an effort to turn away from whatever leads us away from Him. Today, we can choose to take the way of Christ. And we can do it out of our love for Him who first loved us..