The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sunday Readings here.
On this Mother’s Day we arrive at the sixth and concluding week of our homiletic series entitled “Invited into Eternity”, which we began on Easter Sunday.
The theme of this series is that God the Father, from the dawn of creation has not only been inviting us to an eternal life in Heaven with Him but that He has done everything in His power to lure us, to coax us, and to entice into accepting His invitation and continues to do so to this very day. That’s why He never gave up on Adam and Eve. It’s why He saved the world after the great flood. It’s why He called Abraham and started the nation of Israel. It’s why He continually had mercy on them after their ongoing rejection of His love. It’s why He sent Jesus and it’s why Jesus suffered and died for us, pouring out every last drop of His precious blood and it’s why He raised Jesus from the dead.
But His coaxing, His luring, His enticing didn’t stop there. Even after Jesus, rose from the dead, humanity still did not understand and so Jesus came back to try finally once and for all to get them to understand. That’s what the stories we’ve been hearing during this Easter season are all about. He appeared to Mary Magdalen. He appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He appeared to the Apostles while those disciples were explaining to them what they saw, and then He appeared to the Apostles again because Thomas wasn’t there when He appeared the first time. Even after that the Apostles still headed back to their old livelihood of fishing and Jesus appeared yet again, this time with breakfast prepared for them on the beach.
But He is not just inviting into eternity, He is inviting us into eternity with Him. He is inviting us to a life of the very best kind. We looked at the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, and we said that just as the Shepherd leads his sheep to the very best kind of life they can have on earth, so Jesus leads us to the very best kind of life that we can have both here on earth and into eternity.
Last week we discussed another image, the image of the vine and the branches which we said was yet another way of Jesus leading us into eternity; to a life of the very best kind. Today, on this Mother’s Day, as we honor our Moms and bring our series to a conclusion, we hear, for me at least, what is one of the most beautiful verses of all of scripture: “All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete.” I know I often speak of scripture as among my favorites but this one truly is and I can demonstrate it as this is the verse I chose for my ordination card.
To me these words indeed confirm for us that everything Jesus says and does is so that we might be able to once and for all accept His invitation to an eternal life of the very best kind. But these words also give us pause to think of our Moms, don’t they? Isn’t that why she does and says everything that she does and says? I know it certainly is true of my Mom and I also know that there were enough times because of me that she wasn’t always pretty in saying or doing it, but she was and is relentless in getting her message across. One thing I know for sure, is that I will one day accept Jesus’ invitation to heaven because if I don’t she will kill me and I also know that I will in fact I will get into Heaven because there is no way that Jesus is ever going to say “no” to her.
- Rev. Joseph Maloney, Pastor