Homily – Sunday the 15th May 2022

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We have a few moments ago baptised Leo and Zoe and we entrusted the parents and the God parents the responsibility of helping them grow in faith and in love. The water we used came all the way from river Jordon brought with lot of love by the dear ones in the family.

We will in a few moments be sitting for our Annual General Meeting and we will evaluate our life together as a community of grace and love. How do we make the love of God visible to the world around us would be the primary focus.

On our personal part, we as a family will be farewelling Giji this week, even as she travels to India to prepare for the next steps in life and for her life in love.

We as the global community is asking what has happened to love seeing the pain and agony of a war that is about 80 days now

All these and the gospel lesson make us ask a very pertinent question today

What is Love?

Meaning of Love

Love is the very nature of God made manifest best through Calvary and beyond.

“Love, we are told, is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own and at times more important than your own.”

And seeing all that is happening around us we are reminded by Anais Nin that

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”
The gospel lesson for today gives us some key insights that would help us reflect on our love lives as a community of disciples

Motivation for Love- Brevity and Eternity of Life

Jesus tells his disciples- Little children, I am with you only a little longer

There comes a moment where each person realises how short life is and what counts is not how others see us or what we have or achieved but how God has seen us living out our lives. (Billy Graham)

Life is too unpredicatble to put things off for later. Love and expressions of love cannot be left for the future to be made explicitly visible.

What we do in the brief earthly sojourns affects eternity and takes us to the loving embrace of God

Life is too short to be wasted in hatred

Life is too short there is not enough time to truly love

So lets love one another

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.,

Yes the brevity of life is in itself the motivation to love, as is the eternity that comes as a gift of love and grace to all who believe.

Mission of Love- Clarity of the Destination

Where I am going, you cannot come. That is what Jesus tells his followers. We must here look at the The Immediate and the Ultimate destinations of Jesus. At this point Jesus was clear where he was going- the cross. He was also sure that God’s love is most manifest in the Cross so that there is glory beyond the Cross. The Pain was not the end point but instead it was the gateway of love to life eternal.

Jesus therefore talks here of the glory that is already his because oft he Love of God.

Friends, If our destination is the kingdom of love and if our path is the way of love we cannot be but a community of love.

We have heard that “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”(― Jimi Hendrix) but today as we look around we see that the love of power is outwitting the power of love. There need be a paradigm shift.

We should know where we are headed too and be sure that it the pathway of LOVE

Manifestation of Love- Reflections in Life

Jesus tells his disciples -Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another. Take a close look at the love of Jesus on which our love is to be modelled. It is the

Love that comes seeking- even when we are hiding, running away or broken

Love that forgives

Love that heals

Love that cares

Love that wipes tears

Love that gives new life, new beginnings, new possibilities

Love that affirms worth and dignity

Love that listens

Love that does not discriminate

Love that is just

Love that is peaceable

Yes Jesus says, Just as I loved you you must LOVE. It is not an option but an imperative.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Let love be reflected in our lives

The Message of Love- Witnessing Christ in our lives

Jesus affirms- By this everyone will know that you are my disciples

The gospel that the world reads today is not any fancy digital version or the artificial intelligence guided version but the version that our lives live out before the world

There is a criticism that we cannot easily brush away. Christians are ordinary people who make extra ordinary claims about love but that love is seldom seen in their life.

To the Question- Why did I become a Christian? Several people answer that the extra-ordinary love of another Christian attracted me to the Christ he/she believed in.

There are many things money cannot buy Time. Happiness. Inner Peace. Integrity. Love. Character. Manners. Health. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Common sense. Dignity.” (Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart)

But there are many things love can fetch- Peace, Integrity, Health, Respect, Trust, Patience, Class, Dignity the list can go on

It is love that makes us a witnessing community, a diakonal community and a serving community,

The Markers of Love: Christian Discipleship

Jesus makes it clear that the world will know that you are my disciples- If you have love for one another

How do we have love for one another?

We often reflect on the Love Languages that the World Needs Today

That language that affirms the right of the other to live in dignity

The language that is aware that we have borrowed this world and the environment from the generations yet to be and has the responsibility to hand it over to them as a liveable space.

Love is all about

          Quality Time Together

          Words and Acts of appreciation

          A Chemistry of Positive Vibes

          Gifts of expressions of affection

          Deeds reflecting that you care for the other deeply and sincerely

          Touch of Affirmation

“Where there is love there is life.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Let us God’s people of love.

Let us continue to learn to love

Vinod Victor

May 15, 2022

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