God is love and the manifestation of that love is seen through the action of the Holy Spirit who gave the apostles the courage to continue the work of Jesus after his resurrection. These seven weeks of Easter attest to the gift of love and joy. Soon we will celebrate the coming of the Spirit after the seventh week of Easter. Formerly, the feast of Pentecost was called the Feast of Weeks and still is among our Jewish brothers and sisters. We learn in the first reading that Peter’s vision that all things are clean in God’s sight. Peter thus is able to enter Cornelius’ home without fearing the type of food that may be served. More importantly, through the Spirit’s love, Peter is led to listen to Cornelius and to baptize him after the Holy Spirit confirms Cornelius as an ardent learner and believer. A house Pentecost thus takes place as did the greater coming of the Spirit in the upper room where all the apostles were gathered with Mary the Mother of Jesus.
The universal praise due to God is pronounced and prayed in our Psalm which opens us to the universal message of God’s merciful-kindness and love of all peoples.
The Epistle of John tells us that God is love! What a powerful and motivating message revealed in that simple definition of God. It has taken thousands of years for scholars to explain who God is and John has already done that in the most sublime word in the Bible—Love which is identified with God!
The Gospel tells us more about love under the dimension of friendship. We are no longer considered slaves or servants of God, we are friends of God. God always takes the initiative in any sacred call. Jesus is confirming the love of God by speaking of his love and friendship he has with his disciples, his apostles. Fr. Roland Faley captures the Gospel message in these words, :”It is a wonderful gift to be chosen as a friend. Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts. We choose our friends and they choose us. A friend is always there, always trustworthy, always a support. One great writer said, ‘A friend is one in whose presence we don’t have to say anything. That is what Christ is to us.” May we all enjoy the gift of such friendship as Jesus promises us. We have not chosen him; he has chosen us and loved us and always will. Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia!
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby