6th Sunday in Easter – May 22, 2022




One day, while Sally and Billy were at daycare, Sally approached Billy and said, “Do you want to play house with me?”  

            Billy said, “Sure!   What do you want me to do?”

            Sally replied, “I want you to communicate your feelings.”

            “Communicate me feelings?” said a bewildered Billy.  “I have no idea how to do that.”

            Sally nodded her head and replied, “Perfect!  You can be the husband.”

Communication!   It’s indeed a vital part of developing and sustaining any significant relationship, and it’s the flower that Jesus invites us to bloom more bountifully in our lives this week.

To start, Jesus gives us some important tips in today’s scripture readings, on ways we can improve and safeguard our communication with God.    He says, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  (John 14: 23)  As the Word sent by the Father, the words Jesus speaks, give us direct access to our Father in Heaven.   As the Divine Word, his very life and example communicate to us God’s priorities, God’s desires, and God’s vision for all creation.    As the divine communicator sent by God to earth to enable us to come to know and embrace God’s will for our lives, for all people, and for our world, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to enter into the messiness of our lives and to invite us to let him clean it up and to give us a renewed sense of God’s omnipresence, in and around us. So listening to God speaking through the scriptures is a vital form of communication, if we truly want to discover God’s will.

Building on that, we can also use the scriptures as a form of prayer, in order to imaginatively put ourselves in the places, events, and circumstances recounted therein, and then to listen attentively to what they have to say to us.

It’s called ‘Lectio Divina’ and monks have been praying in this way for over 2,000 years.   The benefit of communicating with God by ‘Lectio Divina’ is that it makes God’s word personalized to us.  It brings the Word of God alive in our contemporary circumstances and sheds its light on those situations that, perhaps, need God’s healing, light or peace to be restored.

When we do this, we can totally trust that God will communicate to us whatever God thinks is in our best interests, and in line with his calling for us.     What’s more, we can totally trust in God’s Word because it’s based on God’s infinite love for each person.   Because of that Love, God will never ask us to do something that is contrary to God’s vision of a kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace.   Because of that love, God will never ask us to do something that will discount or put into question his love for each and every sinner.   Because of that love, God will never require of us anything that he’s unwilling to give us the grace to endure or to complete.

God’s love was communicated to us most completely in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins and his glorious resurrection on the third day!   So, a good way to communicate with God is on our knees at the foot of the cross, allowing God’s love to permeate us —through and through— by giving us an experience of the height, width, length, and depth of God’s love for us while we were still sinners.    Indeed, it’s from Christ crucified on the cross that God’s love speaks most eloquently and which can give us the strength to love those most difficult to love in our world.

Besides his Word and his Love,  Jesus communicates with us through the peace that he alone can bring to our hearts, minds and souls.  It’s a peace that originates in God and comes to rest in the very core of our being.   It’s such a peace with which Jesus blesses his disciples in our gospel passage today, so that, when they’d inevitably face tough times, they’d have the courage to overcome them and to win the final victory.

It’s so easy to lose our peace, though, when we don’t center ourselves in Christ and allow him to innervate all our thoughts, words, and actions.   It’s so easy to lose our peace when we get out of the regular habit of daily prayer and the celebration of the sacraments.  It’s so easy to blame someone else for our unrest or unhappiness when we fail to take the time to welcome the peace which Christ longs to give us on a daily basis, without cost or limit.    When we allow that peace to come inside of us, though, we allow Jesus to dwell with us and thereby construct a holy home for Prince of Peace to offer his peace to the world.

Despite these great gifts of communication from God  —love, peace, and his Divine Word — humans are fickle and forgetful creatures.    We often change our minds because of the sinful inclinations within us.  We sometimes base our actions on the mood of the day or on how we’re feeling physically or psychologically.  We may judge prematurely and become judgmental, too.   We sometimes forget what it is we’re committed to doing, and how we’re supposed to be living out, our vocation.    All of these inconsistencies can run the risk, at times, of disrupting the communication God wants to have with us.

That’s why, to assist us in staying on track, Jesus and the Father promised to send us the Holy Spirit, as our Advocate.    An Advocate is someone who sticks by us in all the tumults and tragedies of life.   An Advocate always tries to find the silver lining in a dark situation.   An Advocate strives to make others see our good qualities and encourages us to live up to our Christian character.  An Advocate is someone who truly tries to understand us and is willing to help us gain some insight into why it is we behave the way we do, and how we can change ourselves from the inside, out.   Recall that Jesus says this Holy Spirit, “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.”  (John 14: 26b)

All that I’ve said about our communication with God can also be applied to our human relationships, as well.    First and foremost, we need to truly listen to one another.  We need to consider another’s words carefully and give them our undivided attention when they speak. We need to avoid interrupting the other person in mid-sentence, too and refrain from coming up, with what our response is going to be, even before they’re even done speaking.  We need to imagine what another has been through, too, and try to see the problem from the other’s perspective.   By avoiding these pitfalls to good communication, we’ll be more successful in responding to another as Christ would, in any given situation.

In all our communication, too, we’re being challenged to speak with love and respect, with mutual care and understanding.    Both sides should want the best for the other, that all may grow and thrive.   Part of love is also speaking what is difficult to hear, but with the aim of helping the other to recognize any brokenness and despair– where it exists— and to help guide the other toward healing, acceptance, and joy.

In all our communication, we need to resolve to remain centered in God at all times, and to allow that peace of mind, heart and soul, that God alone can give, to permeate our conversations and our actions, so that we don’t start to yell or get angry or violent with another and, in the process, rob the other of their innate human dignity.  And when we do, at times, fail, we need to ask for pardon and return, as quickly as possible, to that state of inner peace that comes from God being at the core of who we are.

As persons baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re encouraged to invite the Spirit of God to enter into all of our human relationships and to transform them, step by step, day by day, into the sort of relationships that are life-giving, transformative, and which help us to be our very best selves, each and every day.

By relying on the constant, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, we will be better prepared to discern the best paths forward and the best ways to live out our Christian callings more fully in every circumstance.   For when we do so, we’re bringing to bloom the kind of communication that Jesus himself lived by and which gave God greater glory, honor, and praise.





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