I have heard it said many times that, until you become a mother, you can’t imagine the love that you are capable of for your child. Sure, you love your spouse a ton—obviously enough to decide to spend the rest of your lives together, but the love a mother has for her child is fierce. Fierce because of the intensity, fierce because it changes who you are and the way you experience the world, and fierce because you would do anything to protect that little thing even if you had to face the very gates of hell to do it.
After spending time with the Apostles after the Resurrection to prepare them for their mission, Jesus went back into heaven to get things ready for us. We need to remember that, just because he went to heaven, doesn’t mean he’s not still with us.
Born again Christians revile the idea that our salvation can be earned—Jesus himself gained salvation for us on the cross once and for all. You cannot do anything to “get” salvation. Guess what? We believe that, too! You can’t earn salvation. Ever. Under any circumstances. Jesus won it, invites us to share in it, and all we have to do to have it is say “yes.”
As we draw ever nearer to the Solemnity of Pentecost, our readings prepare us for the coming of the Spirit. We get a biblical glimpse of Confirmation, are reminded of what our conduct should be as followers of Christ, and are re-affirmed in our keeping of Jesus’ commandments.
“Mommy, where do deacons come from?” Today’s first reading tells us that very thing! We get an idea of what it means to live “diakonia”; Christian service, and how to let God build us into “a spiritual house”; shelters for the poor and needy. Jesus tells us that besides us being a home for others, he built a home for us in heaven.
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter and Good Shepherd Sunday. We remember that Jesus takes care of us when we are helpless and gives us a friendly voice to follow when we’re scared. It’s a good week to think about who Jesus has given to us to be shepherds in our daily lives, and who we have been asked to shepherd.