Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 18-19, 2019
From Fr. Anthony Ligato
It is not enough to see the Lord in yourself, do others see the Lord in you?
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in kindness. The Lord is good to all and compasionate toward all his works.” (Psalm 145:89) This is who the Lord is, who are you in light of who the Lord is?
Psalm 145 tells us that the Lord is gracious, what does it mean to be gracious? The definition of gracious is to be courteous, kind and pleasant. We know that God is courteous because God is benevolent. Are we courteous to others? God’s benevolence is a sign of God’s generosity. Are we benevolent toward others by being generous of heart? God is kind because God is merciful and forgiving. Are we kind, are we tenderhearted and tolerant of others or are we hardhearted and intolerant of others? Our gracious God is pleasant, these words that God inspired are the sign of a pleasant God. Do the words we speak reveal a pleasant demeanor? Are our words inspired by the Gospels or are our words simply gossip which in no way can be of God. Because the words Gospels are life giving, words of gossip destroy life.
Psalm 145 tells us that the Lord is merciful, what does it mean to be merciful? The definition of merciful is to be compassionate, tender, to be disposed toward pity for offenders, to be forgiving. Compassion is necessary for the Christian, does our compassion reflect the compassionate heart of the Lord which is poured out on the cross for us all. The tender mercy of God is seen in the cross because God, through his son, is disposed toward having pity for the offender. Are our hearts filled with pity toward the offender or are we more prone toward maliciousness toward the offender?
Psalm 145 tells us that the Lord is great in Kindness, what does it mean to be great in kindness? The definition of kindness is to be friendly, generous and considerate. Jesus says in John 15:1314, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Jesus says in today’ Gospel from John 13:3135, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” These are the words Jesus spoke to is disciples on the night before he died for our
sins. Jesus is gracious for He has been benevolent to us through his pouring out His life on the cross. Jesus has been merciful for He has been compassionate and tender to all offenders. Jesus has been great in kindness for He has been has called us friends for He has loved us.
Do others know that you are a disciple of Jesus by how you love?
Yours in Christ,