Bishop Letter: Imagine the earth imbued with God’s love for one another

May 2, 2024
In this mosaic, the risen Jesus appears to His disciples. (JIM DAVIS | FC)

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

About six weeks ago we heard Peter deny his love for Jesus three times. It was a moment of great distress as Peter, beloved and forthright, let fear overcome him and denied his friend, mentor, and teacher, the person whom Peter said was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. It was a very human moment.

Today, we hear that we are to love one another because love is of God. We are reminded that as we love, we are begotten by God. By our love for one another, we also are in a relationship with God. Jesus asks that our love be communal, not only a personal love for God, not only a personal love for our neighbor. For our love cannot reach its fullness, cannot attain its completion, until it becomes reciprocal.

God’s love is a matchless gift! God loves us. He calls us beloved, no matter our faults. When Jesus asks Peter if he loves Jesus, Peter has known the sadness of infidelity, and he tells Jesus he loves Him with his poor human love. This is enough for God. God loves each one without measure. St. Paul says we receive God’s love not because we have loved God, but because God loves us. God asks each one to do the same.

Our daily living flourishes when we partake in receiving Jesus the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a Sacred Mystery. We receive Jesus into our heart, into our soul, into our entire being. Then, like the apostles and those who come after them, including you and me, we are called to go forth and be Jesus the Eucharist to one another.

We rejoice through, with and in God’s love as we celebrate the reception of First Holy Communion with our young people. These first Communicants become Eucharistic missionaries as they spread God’s love to all the people. We pray with great love for and faithfully guide our young people graduating from school and moving to the next level of education or a position of employment. Within God’s loving will, two seminarians, Michael Batista and Phillip Mills, will be ordained to the priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders at the end of May.

Imagine the earth imbued with God’s love for one another. This is the joy of the first apostles as we hear of their care for one another so that no one is in need. Each one of us might examine the moments of our day to determine where we loved well and where we missed loving. Jesus is the example. Did we forgive? Did we pray? Did we speak about God? Did we take care of a person in need? Did we love our spouse as Jesus loves the Church? Did we say thank you? Did we sing God’s praises by praising our children, mother, father or friend? Did we mourn with those whose loss is unspeakable?

We are in Eastertide. Like the first apostles, we move in hope. Yes, we are anxious. Yes, we do not know what truly lies ahead. No matter the day, we are beginning our journey. We breathe in the Spirit of the Lord and dedicate all time to God. In this demeanor, our heart beats God’s love, from the moment of rising through the time of rest. We meet special people each day because they are loved by God!

May we be the offering of hope for one another. May we live as a Eucharist to make Jesus known, to proclaim the Gospel to every creature. May we love because love is of God.

May 02, 2024