Pastor’s Message

Message from Fr. Mike

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(1 Jn 4:7-10)

6th Sunday of Easter

Dear friends in Christ,

Two weeks ago, was Good Shepherd Sunday and last Sunday was True Vine Sunday, today can be called Love Sunday. Even though love is the central teaching of Christianity and the reason for Incarnation, Love eludes us. Jesus said, “I do not call you slaves, I call you friend. Let us celebrate with our friend. He who loves us so much that he died for us.


There are two things that happened in the first reading. First: the vision of Cornelius and the vision of Peter. Cornelius was a Roman centurion but devout and God-fearing along with his family. His vision was to send for Peter (Acts 10:5-6). This vision was not easy to fulfil because Cornelius was gentile, uncircumcised, profane, unclean. and not part of those to be saved.

Peter’s vision was to respond positively to this invitation. He is not to call any person profane or unclean (Acts 10:9-16). In the vision, God directed Peter to accompany the centurion’s messengers without hesitation. “When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage. Peter, however, raised him up, saying, “Get up. I am also a human being” (Acts 10:25- 26). Peter’s humility is a challenge to us when we demand appreciation or respect, or recognition. In Cornelius’ house Peter preached, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean” (Acts 10:28). “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation, whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” There was an immediate effect from Peter’s words. “While [he] was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word.” (Acts 10:34-35, 44- 46). The circumcised, the Jewish converts, those who insist on Jewish tradition were shocked by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the gentiles, the uncircumcised.

How do we get out of this box?

The way out of this box is the way of love. In the second reading, St. John writes, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Therefore, to know God is to love. It seems that John is saying that the essence, the nature of God is love. In 1 John 4:12 he says, “no one has ever seen God”. How can you say that you know him when you have not seen him? The answer is simple. We know God by loving our neighbor. We cannot hate or resent each other and claim that we know God. God is love. Hate comes from lack of knowledge of God. God is love.

In the gospel, Jesus said, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you” (John 15:9). “This is the commandment: love one another as I love you” (John 15:12). Jesus repeated this command in v. 17, Jesus uses himself as an example. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Love without sacrifice is like a balloon. It does not endure. We hear it often said that love is blind. That saying covers a lot of ground. Love is blind to injury, to hate, status, and is color blind. St. Paul writes, “Let your love be genuine; … love one another with mutual affection …” (Romans 12:9-10).

Here is a story that wraps these points up. A rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended, and the day had returned. “Could it be,” asked one student, “when you see an animal in the distance and tell whether it is a sheep or a dog?” “No,” answered the rabbi. “Could it be,” asked another student, “when you can look at a tree in the distance, and you can tell whether it is a fig tree or a peach tree?” “No,” replied the rabbi. “Well, when is it then” demanded his students. The rabbi replied, “It is when you look at the face of any man or woman and see that he or she is your brother or sister. If you cannot see that, then no matter what time it is, it is still night!”

Fr. Mike Ume