Love could be the theme for this Sunday; after all, it is Mother’s Day. Or we could believe that we have come to love Sundays because we can gather in person, perhaps more readily. Or, it could be that we have come to know what love (both given and received) means in the midst of all that we have lived through in the past 15 months. The words almost sound like we are in an echo chamber: Love one another. Remain in my love. Love one another as I love you! I have called you friends. I chose you. As the Father loves me, so I love you. This I command you: love one another. Words about love abound in our readings for this weekend.
Love is not a suggestion or a wish, but a command from Jesus. In fact, all of these are imperatives. They have power and strength; they come from Jesus. No “if you want” or “if you wish” or “just a suggestion.”
And since I am dwelling on words, I also love the verbs used to describe the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the word. The gift of the Holy Spirit …poured out on the Gentiles also. No doves in flight and no fiery tongues, but powerful and lavish falling and pouring! Imagine the Holy Spirit being as prolific as the drenching rains of the past week.
We have experienced the capacity not just to hold on to love, but also to extend love to all of our brothers and sisters, no exceptions, in our Parish ReConnect gatherings. We have named the gifts of the Holy Spirit that have been profoundly and consistently present in our lives, physically distanced as we have been. As we anticipate Pentecost and the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit, we are grateful for our reflections and our learnings and we give voice to our commitment to accompany, welcome, and engage (AWE) our brothers and sisters in parish life and beyond. We are being transformed. Life in our cocoons is generating beauty and awe—the awe in seeing new leaves and blooms, the awe we see in butterflies, the awe we experience in the children among us, the awe we know in the resilience of all who continue to inspire ( in-Spirit) us in actions and deeds, in thoughts and feelings.
And so we work and pray: Loving and generous God, we ask you to fall on us and pour out on us the gift of listening deeply to one another with love and respect. Bind us together in love and help us to be clear channels of your wisdom and love for one another. May it be so!