The Father’s Love
Jesus’ words today to his disciples pack a "punch": "The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God". God’s Love: the Father, in and through the Son, including disciples of times past and present. No doubt this Last Supper talk with his disciples did help them get some renewed direction in their lives – and yet we know that Jesus’ Passion and death was later to turn many disciples away in denial of Jesus. Oh yes, God’s love…unconditional; our love…so human.
Indeed, love needs constant affirming and nurturing. These Easter days have helped nurture God’s love for us as we have followed the saga of the early Church in our readings from the Acts of the Apostles. As disciples, we too await the gift of the Pentecost Spirit to help "love" the Church to a new birth in our day and age. Jesus himself encourages us in love to "ask and you will receive so that your joy may be complete".
We each have accepted God’s love in our Baptism and in our personal vocation. For our Passionist Family, God’s Love is oh-so-real in the recent priestly ordination of two fellow Passionists, Alfredo Ocampo and Hugo Esparza. Together we respond to that Love by lives of fruitful and joyful service. As we are about our Provincial Chapter these days, God’s Love will guide our discussions, decisions, and our election of new Province leadership. On a personal note: I today thank God for loving me on this my 35th anniversary of ordination to Passionist priestly ministry. God’s Love…and a spirit of joy…you bet!
May the Father’s Love continue to nurture and guide us all as we follow Jesus Crucified in this day and age, as well as on that day when we ourselves return to the Father with Jesus.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky