4th Sunday of Easter B - Homily 2

Homily 2 - 2009

God has lavished love on us - as a result of which we are called God's children; we are God's children; and, as far as the future is concerned, we shall be like God and shall see God as God really is.

We are already God's children - we apparently have the same DNA, so we are already like God.  But we are not really there yet.  We don't see what God really is like.  We don't know what God really is like.  But eventually we shall.

So, it's like we've got the DNA, but we're still in the womb, as it were, or we're not yet developed much.

We have the capacity to be like God, and to live like God - but we're free.  And capacity does not become actuality automatically.  We need to co-operate.

Today's Epistle started: Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us - love – lavished on us.  That's what God is like!

Has it made any difference to us? Do we walk around like someone deeply, radically, loved?

I don't think God's love makes much difference at all until we know about it, believe it and accept it.

No one's love does anything to us: spouses, parents, friends, unless we believe it and accept it.  They can love us as much as they like, but if we don't know they do, don't believe they do, and don't accept their love, nothing happens to us.

But, when we believe and accept someone's love - deep, unconditional, strong love - that's different!  We change.  Our own love starts to come on line, and we change more.

If we let God love us, we find that we begin to love like God; we become like God – the same DNA.  We discover our capacity to lavish love – like God, even unconditional love; and we enjoy it.  It sits right with us.  And we can even stick at it when it's not appreciated or even when it's exploited, because, as we have grown in love, we have grown also in freedom.  We become free to love.

That's our destiny.  That's what life's about, now, and, apparently, into eternity.

I was thinking this week about asylum seekers - people who have fled their own countries and left everything behind them, hoping for a chance to live lives that have some decency.  Some of them have shown initiative - more than some of their fellow refugees.  They have been impatient - for a better life.

Do the disciples of Jesus in our country look at them with love?  Like God, our Father, do we lavish our love upon them?

Certainly, loving another does not necessarily mean giving them whatever they ask for.  You parents don't  give your children everything they ask for.  But, when they ask, you listen.  You listen lovingly.  You weigh their request against their own good and the good of the rest of the family.  Sometimes you will say: Wait.  Sometimes you will say: No.  But you won't criticise them, punish them, or dehumanise them for asking.

Refugees and asylum seekers present problems - but our solutions shouldn't be motivated by our own selfishness.  We can look for solutions with compassion, and treat them with dignity.

Unless we do, whatever about our harshness towards them, it certainly destroys our  own integrity.

Think of the love that God has lavished upon us.  It is so powerful that it can  make us god-like -

if we want to be god-like.  That's challenging!