Easter – Sunday 5
|Sometimes it can be really difficult to accept the simple claims that the gospel makes to know that we are indeed loved with this amazing intimacy of life and goodness to trust.
|That God actually wants us to have that experience of this intimacy, of relationship with him, and I struggle with that at the.
|Times. I think there are times when you know, I sit down to pray and I try and follow the advice that I often give to people when they ask for a penance after confession.
|And so often I will just say, well, just sit in the presence of God and let yourself be held.
|In that place, let God’s love be the only thing that matters.
|Make yourself just know that God looks at you in this moment that God delights in you in this moment.
|And sometimes when I try and do that myself.
|I freak out.
|Because it just seems too much, too overwhelming to be in that space to be able.
|To hold that truth.
|To say yes that God sees me in all of my faults and all of my mistakes and all of my sinfulness and all of the ways that I’ve stuffed it up, that somehow God is still able to look at me and love me, that just seems so bizarre, so overwhelming.
|I’m sure many of you have had a similar kind of experience. This sense of this God.
|Who is calling us constantly into life into that intimacy of union, and it could just seem how can that be true?
|We hold on to our past. We hold on to our mistakes. We hold on to those stumbling stones that Saint Peter talks about in our second reading today, and we can feel that
|it’s just maybe for someone else. Maybe there’s, you know, another person sitting next to me in the Pew or someone else in the church.
|Maybe for them it’s OK and we get this sense of the imposter syndrome, this sense that well, you know, I know the reality of my life. I know the reality of my sin. And maybe someone else, maybe those Saints, maybe those.
|Other people are able to experience this, but for me.
|I don’t think I can, and yet we’re invited into this life as Jesus speaks to Philip today and says like to have seen me is to have seen the Father.
|I stand in that very place that this is the invitation for us into life, that we can experience.
|That true knowledge of God is overwhelming, as that might seem, as it’s just so strange and so.
|You know sublime. How could that be true? How could that possibly be something that we could experience that that God might invite us into?
|But Peter, as he continues today, remember, he’s not addressing anyone special, not really even addressing people that he necessarily knows.
|He’s writing this circular letter to a whole bunch of different Gentile churches. People like us, people from different backgrounds and experiences, people who didn’t grow up as Jews, people who didn’t experience all of the life and goodness have.
|People who were perhaps intermingling with the Greek culture, perhaps they had engaged in all kinds of weird practises that were common there within Greek culture, and yet he speaks to them with the same words that Moses heard on Mount Sinai. The Moses was instructed.
|In Exodus 19 to tell the whole Assembly this truth, the you are a chosen race. You are a royal priesthood. You are a holy nation that has been set apart from all the other nations, all the other.
|People, not because Israel was special, not because at that point in history they’ve done anything to deserve that, but simply because it’s always about God’s choice and God’s call. It’s not about my worthiness. It’s not about whether I have done anything that is good or not.
|It’s simply because this is the nature of God, that God is the one who’s always inviting, always calling, and to hear those words today, for you are a chosen race.
|Out of all of the races on the Earth, God has called a people for himself a people that would be set apart. A people that would be consecrated for him to be holy.
|Like, OK, maybe in for a couple of seconds in the whole of my life, I’ve experienced something that might resemble holiness, where I’ve had that sense.
|Yes, I want to give myself to God. Yes, I want to surrender my heart to God, but most of the rest of our lives, it feels like.
|That holy tag – that just doesn’t seem to apply. It doesn’t seem to fit that the scope of my life doesn’t fit the reality of my life, and yet Peter will address us the same, just as the Lord instructed Moses to instruct the people the same that once you were no people.
|But now you are God’s people, and that’s why we can stand firm in the faith. That’s why we can experience this life, this goodness, because God.
|Is the one who takes the initiative. All I need to do, all I need to do as a matter of response, is simply to say I can’t.
|But you can. I can’t be wholly under my own steam. I can’t live the life of perfection, the life of goodness that I want.
|But you can, because God is always the one who takes the initiative. God is always the one who’s inviting us and calling us and cajoling us and allowing us to experience this grace.
|For you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation once, no people. But now we are God’s people. That’s this gift of this life. That’s the way that Jesus speaks about in John 14.
|Today that I am the way because he’s instructing us into his way of life, he’s calling us. How do we live this?
|By learning the way of Jesus by drawing close to him by reading about him in the Gospels, by getting to know his way of life, that we can be holy, we can be these people set apart now for the goodness of God.
|By living the way of Jesus.
|By reading about him, by studying his word, by letting him shape us and form.
|That he is the way the truth and the life not because there’s only one religion and one way of possibly entering into this.
|No. God is generous. God is always searching for a people. God is always longing for people to experience and encounter him. And so for us to remember, it’s.
|Who is God? Who starts this story? God is the one who begins this journey of love. God is the one who’s always calling us more deeply into this encounter.
|So let’s trust in that word. Let’s trust that God indeed wants for us to experience this intimacy of life with him.
|And let’s allow God’s love to shape us and call us.
May the God of amazing love, the God who is always inviting us and calling us into life. The God who is the way for us into that truth.
We can only find in him the truth that we can only find when we say yes, when we surrender, when we let go of all of our striving.
We allow the Lord to forgive us and heal us. May God continue to journey with you and to guide you into that life that is found in him.
The name of the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let’s go in peace to announce the Gospel of the Lord. Alleluia!