May 9, 2021 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Reading of the day: Acts 10:25-48 / 1 John 4:7-10 / John 15:9-17
The following is the homily I will be delivering today at St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis:
Today’s readings direct us to this reality: Joy resides in our hearts and is accessible to all.
So, why isn’t everyone joyful? The short answer is that joy is intimately connected to our relationship with God.
Unfortunately, some people may not have experienced God in their lives or have failed to see God’s hand in things. There are others that have been hurt by the Church or whose faith has been shaken by any number of struggles they’ve encountered. Simply put, we need to invite others to an encounter with God.
After discussing in detail who should receive the gospel message, the disciples came to the realization that it was meant to be shared. They made the decision to go beyond their own people, taking the message to the Gentiles, to those that did not know God.
In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” God is for all.
In the First Letter of John, we hear the same message, but it is a bit more subtle: “Let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves knows God.” God is love.
In today’s gospel from John, Jesus told his disciples he loved them. Then he said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.” With God’s love comes joy.
What comforting messages for us to hear. God shows no partiality. God is made known to us by the love we receive and the love we share. Finally, God’s love brings us joy. That joy resides in our hearts and can be freely accessed at any time.
Comforting, yet challenging as well. If love and joy are meant to be available to all, they must be offered to all. Are we doing that?