5th Sunday Of Easter
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: May 7, 2023
A number of years ago I heard this following poem or saying about children. It seemed like important words for parents, for grandparents, for teachers, for priests. Some of you may have already seen this. It is called, CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE (by Dorothy Law Nolte)
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
It made me wonder about what we have learned through our faith, by the teachings we have received, by what we have heard from people of faith? Listen to the word of God we just heard in the scriptures at this Mass. This is what God is saying to us, this is what we can learn about ourselves through the word of God this Sunday. God is saying this to your heart.
In the First Letter of Peter we hear, you are “chosen and precious in God’s sight.”
You are to be “like living stones, … built into a spiritual house.”
Then it finishes with these beautiful words. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.”
You are God’s own people, you are precious in God’s sight. Do you see yourself this way?
Then in the Gospel, it is a passage that is often used at funerals. We hear Jesus say, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” Then he promises to prepare a place for us and says, “I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus longs for us to be with him, these are the words of a lover. Do you see yourself as loved by Jesus in this way?
Jesus says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” These words we have heard from Jesus are the words of the living God spoken to our hearts.
As Catholics we need to live in such a way, speak to others in such a way, that they will hear these words spoken to their hearts. Our children, our friends, our families, our colleagues need to hear that they are “chosen and precious in God’s sight.”, that they are “God’s own people.” People should feel that they are precious in God’s sight through their contact with us.
People should feel that Jesus truly wants to be with them, that Jesus longs for them as a lover.
Speak to others and be with others and share your faith with others so that they will truly feel that they are precious in God’s sight. Through us they should feel that they are the beloved of Jesus.