“I will not leave you orphaned.” At some point we all want or
even need to hear these words. They speak directly to some of our greatest
fears and challenges. They remind us that we are not destined to walk
this earth without an identity or direction. We do not stand alone. We fear
becoming orphaned. That fear points us deeper into reality that by
ourselves we are not enough. It is not, however, because we are deficient.
It is rather because we were never intended to be self-sufficient. We were
created to love and be loved, to live in relationship as persons giving themselves to each other, to dwell, abide, and remain within each other as the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father.
“I will not leave you orphaned.” That is the promise. Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, storms, death, separation, we have never been and will never be orphaned by God. How strange that must have sounded to the disciples. In the same conversation Jesus tells them that He is leaving and coming.
Leaving and coming…presence and absence…These must be held in tension, not as mutually exclusive. That is what Jesus has set before us in today’s gospel. That tension confronts us with the question of whether Jesus, for us, is a past memory or a present reality, a sentimental story that makes us feel good or a living experience that challenges, guides, and nurtures our life.
According to Jesus the answer to that question is determined by love that is revealed and fulfilled in keeping His commandments. The commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, to love our enemies, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Do we keep the commandments? Is our love growing, expanding, transformative of ourselves and the world? If so, Jesus is probably for us a present reality and we know the fulfillment of his promise that we are not left orphaned.
Keeping the commandments is our access to Jesus’ promise that we will not be left orphaned. Keeping the commandments does not make Jesus present to us. It makes us present to the already ongoing reality of Jesus’ presence. The commandments do not earn us Jesus’ love, they reveal our love for him, a love that originates in His abiding love and presence within us.
Every time we expand the boundaries of our love, we push back the orphanages of this world creating space within us where the father and Jesus make their home.
“I will not leave you orphaned.” Over and over, day after day, regardless of what is happening in our lives, that is Jesus’ promise. We have not been abandoned. Do not abandon yourselves or others to the orphanages of this world. Love with all that you are and that you have even as the Father and Jesus love us with all they are and that they have.
WEEKLY FINANCIAL STATEMENT
Week of May 17th income: $6,296.00
Week of May 17 expenses: $8,201.00
Ladies Society outing—Mark your calendars for a ladies night out! Tuesday, June 2nd at 6:30 pm. Location to be determined. Please email Gina at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 29th to let us know if you would like to attend. All ladies of the parish are invited!
The Men’s Society meeting will be Thursday, June 4th at 6:30 pm in the Lebanon room. All men of the parish are invited to attend.
There are meditation CD’s from Lighthouse Catholic Media available in the vestibule of the church. To help defray the cost, we are asking for $3.00 for each CD you choose. Please put the money in the envelope next to the CD’s. We hope you enjoy them!
The sound system is complete! To date, we have collected about $30,000 of the $48,000. Please consider donating if you haven’t already. Thank you to those of you who have. Hopefully you can HEAR the difference! God Bless you all.
Our Fall Festival is quickly approaching! It’s time to pitch in as we start
to get ready with preparing for the festival. Please, prepare yourself to
volunteer. Those who wish to chair a booth, please contact Janet Baker at email@example.com or Gina Fanetti at firstname.lastname@example.org for more
details about booths. FESTIVAL DATE: SEPTEMBER 19-20, 2015