Archive for May 7th, 2019

Do You Love Me? 5-5-2019

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Our Gospel this Sunday reminds us again of some powerful good
news. It’s what I call the episode of the second chance. Now it is
important that you remember who was there in those boats. Jesus’
disciples. You know, the ones who fled when he was arrested. The
ones who, when he needed a bit of comfort, fell asleep on him. The ones
who, when the going got tough, abandoned him. And there, too, was
Peter, the leader, who figures so prominently in this story. He was there.
Remember, he denied even knowing Jesus.
It is to these that Jesus appears. And he has a question. And it is
urgently important that we realize what the question is not. His question
is not “What have you done?” His question is not “Who were you in the
past?” His question is not “Have you reformed?” His question is not
“Do you remember your sins?” His question has nothing to do with the
past and everything to do with the present. His question is simply “Here
and now, do you love me?”
“Do you love me?” That’s all Jesus is interested in. Let bygones
be bygones. Let sins be forgotten. Let mistakes be put aside. Let 2
stupidities be buried. Let hurts be unrecorded. Let betrayals be
unmentioned. All that matters is, “Right here, right now, do you love
me?”
Can you sense the drama of this very personal gospel, the absolute
forgiveness implied in the question, the total love of the Questioner?
Can’t you sense that this gospel lives? That on this Sunday morning, at
this liturgy, here and now, Someone is asking the only question that
matters in your life and mine. He is asking, “Do you love me?” It’s the
gift of the second chance. Never mind the past. “Today , do you love
me?” This is why this gospel was saved by the faith community. It was
saved for people like ourselves who also needed to know the Stranger is
on the shore of our lives as we toil with empty nets and that, above all,
the Stranger comes with a question and a challenge.
“Do you love me?” If you do, go forth from this church and love
others. Start with your family first. Give someone a second chance. Is
there someone you know who needs to be reminded that our God does
not say – Why did you? How could you? Our God says here – start
over. Try again. Try again.

Make The Love Of God Come Alive 5-19-2019

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

In 1976 a car accident tore open the head of a 21-year old Chicago boy named
Peter. His brain was damaged and he was thrown into a deep coma.
Doctors told Peter’s family and friends that he probably wouldn’t survive.
Even if he did, he’d always be in a comatose state. One of the people who heard
that frightening news was Linda, the girl Peter planned to marry.
In the sad days ahead, Linda spent all her spare time in the hospital. Night
after night, she’d sit at Peter’s beside, pat his cheek, rub his brow, and talk to him.
“It was like we were on a normal date”, she said.
All the while Peter remained in a coma, unresponsive to Linda’s loving
presence.
Night after night, for three and a half months, Linda sat at Peter’s bedside,
speaking words of encouragement to him, even though he gave no sign that he
heard her.
Then one night Linda saw Peter’s toe move. A few nights later she saw his
eyelash flutter. This was all she needed. Against the advice of the doctors, she
quit her job and became his constant companion. She spent hours massaging his arms and legs. Eventually she arranged to take
him home. She spent all her savings on a swimming pool, hoping that the sun
and the water would restore life to Peter’s motionless limbs.
Then came the day when Peter spoke his first word since the accident. It was
only a grunt, but Linda understood it.
Gradually, with Linda’s help, those grunts turned into words—clear words.
Finally the day came when Peter was able to ask Linda’s father if he could
marry her. Linda’s father said, “When you can walk down the aisle, Peter, she’ll
be yours”.
Two years later, Peter walked down the aisle of Our Lady of Pompeii Church
in Chicago. He had to use a walker, but he was walking.
Every television station in Chicago covered that wedding. Newspapers across
the country carried pictures of Linda and Peter.
Celebrities phoned to congratulate them. People from as far away as Australia
sent them letters and presents. Families with loved ones in comas called to ask
their advice.
Today, Peter is living a normal life. He talks slowly, but clearly. He walks
slowly, but without a walker. He and Linda even have a lovely child. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one
another”.
I would like each one of you to supply another example. Who has made the
love of God come alive by the sacrifices they have made for you? We need to
thank them and follow their example.