Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Interesting story in the gospel today.  Remember: Jesus is at the Last Supper.  He knows soon he will die, suffering an awful death.  Jesus comes together with his closest friends in a special last meal, the Passover.  It is a meal celebrating the freedom of God’s people.  (For the words of today’s gospel, click here.)

During the meal Jesus tell his friends he is leaving them.  They are upset, feel sad.  Jesus says, “Do not worry, why? I go to prepare a special place for you, then I come back and lead you to this same place.  You already know the way to this special place.”

One of them (his name, Thomas) is not very smart.  He says, “We do not know the way.”  Jesus hears this and feels what? Sad, disappointed, frustrated.  He says, “I am with you a long time and you do not understand.  I am the way.”  With me you will find the right way to go.  I am the way to go, the way to go to the special place I am preparing for you, the way to go to the Father.”

Another one, Philip, says, “Show us the Father, then we are satisfied.”  Again Jesus maybe feels, what?  Frustrated, sad, annoyed.  Jesus says, “You see me, it means you see the Father.”

These two are with Jesus a long time, listen to Jesus a long time; and still they do not understand fully who is Jesus.  Those two are like who?  Like you and like me.  You and I are with Jesus a long time, come to church every Sunday, pray a lot, read about Jesus; this means you and I understand Jesus fully? No.  You and I can learn more, know Jesus more deeply, love Him more deeply, live like Jesus more fully, we can.  When you or I do something Jesus does not like, He rejects us? No.  He still wants to lead us closer to him.

Then Jesus continues and says, “A person sees me; it means the person also sees God the Father.”  Sometimes people think God the Father is far away, doesn’t care about us.  Or people think God the Father is like an old man with a long beard, he doesn’t understand us.  Or they think Yes God made the world, the universe, but then He sent it away and now he does not care about anything he made,  But then Jesus says, “See me, it means you see God the Father.”

See the person of Jesus, see what?  Use your imagination.  Picture of Jesus, for you what? I do not know. So let me give you my picture of Jesus.

For me, the picture of Jesus is the shepherd, lifting the sheep on his shoulders, or carrying the baby sheep, the lamb, in his arms.  That sheep, who?  Me.  Jesus holds me in his arms, gently, kindly, warmly.  Even when I am not perfect or have a bad mood or am angry or upset or feeling guilty or dirty.  No matter, Jesus still accepts me, carries me through life, good times and bad times, happy times and sad times, tough times, the ups and downs of my life.  No matter, Jesus always will carry me.  Jesus carries me on his strong shoulders or in his strong arms.  And I know He loves me.

You describe Jesus, how?  For you, Jesus is who?

Today is Mother’s Day.  You probably remember your mother caring for you.  Maybe you fell and hurt yourself.  Or you were feeling lonely or sad about something.  Or something bad happened to you.  How did your mother take care of you?  Imagine Jesus taking care of you even better than your mother taking care of you.  Jesus does always take care of you.

When you have time today, find a quiet place.  Imagine Jesus standing in front of you.  How describe him, his body, his face, his heart, his attitude to you?  Then know that picture of Jesus tells you what God the Father is like.

Today is Mother’s Day.  We honor and thank our mothers.  How explain what a mother does? Let me tell you a story.  A long time ago in 1400 an enemy army came against a town in Germany.  There was a castle in the middle of the town.  All the people went to hide in the castle to protect themselves.  The enemy general told the people in the castle that he would let the women and children go free; he did not want to hurt them.  He also said that the women could take their most valuable things with them, but the women had to carry it.  They could not use carts or horses or anything; the women could carry everything on their backs.  The enemy soldiers waited, and then they were amazed when they saw each woman coming out of the castle carrying her husband on her back.

That is a beautiful example of the love of mothers.  It is the reason we honor mothers today.  When we were growing up, our mothers carried us when we were good and when we were bad; mothers always carried us.  I mean mothers and everyone like a mother–grandmothers and aunts and older sisters and cousins.  Today we honor you mothers because in these hard times you carry those you love; you care for your children; you feed them; you worry about them; you love them.  We needed our mothers in the past and we need all of you mothers now.

God bless all mothers!  We pray that Mary, the mother of Jesus, the mother of God, will always protect our mothers.

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