In our Gospel today, Jesus speaks about being chosen. It was not you who chose Me, but I who chose you. And appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.

“I chose you.” That is the problem, isn’t it? We are backed into a corner. We did not choose Jesus. He chose us and wants us to bear fruit. Some of us might think, “Why me?” For some, this choosing business might seem like getting a notice from the IRS, saying they are going to audit you.

Some might say being chosen means we have been boxed in. And we don’t like it. Once you are chosen, you are tagged and your options might be limited. This can happen in a Christian sense. In our everyday lives, we are constantly being given many options, which leads to an open-ended lifestyle. We see it in advertisements.

“No rules, just right,” is Outback Steakhouse’s motto. “Have it your way” is McDonalds’ slogan. An NFL video game’s tagline is, “No refs, no rules. Just right.” But along comes Jesus and He says, yes, there are limits.

I once watched a news report. The reporter was interviewing the family of a teenaged boy who was killed during a robbery. The family was in terrible grief. The reporter asked the grandfather, “Do you want revenge on the man who killed your grandson?” The older man appeared astonished at the question.

He said, “That is impossible. We are Christians. We are not permitted revenge.”

You see, our options are limited. No getting even. No plotting to kill. None of the beating or maiming that we see on television and in the movies. We are stuck as chosen Christians. We are boxed in by mercy and forgiveness and the example of Jesus, Who chose us. To be a Christian means there are some things for us that are not optional. It goes with the territory.

Our Gospel today tells us to love God. But that command does not end there. He added, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s a radical Christian challenge. How can I love those I do not like? Is Jesus really asking us to love the unlovable? The inhumane? Even those who hate you, cheat on you, scorn you and hurt you?

The answer seems to be “yes” if are to believe the Gospel. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us. It’s not impossible. Jesus is not asking us to take our enemies home with us. He is simply commanding us to care. He asks us to be concerned for everyone who crosses our path. You do not have to embrace people who hate; people who show that they hate. But you can say a prayer for them.

Some day, after mastering the winds, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire.

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One thought on “Fr. Bob’s Homily – Sixth Sunday of Easter

  1. Please pray 4 my son, John Michael, having a hard time with his work, please pray that God puts him in the perfect place 4 him!!Thank You🙏✝️🙏

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