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Today Baby Emily will celebrate two weeks in this world.  Yesterday I had the joy of going to see my friends’ baby girl, Emily – and, indeed, it was a joyful occasion.  All of the questions – does she sleep through the night (no!), does she looks like Mum or Dad (Mum!) and how long does it take you to get ready to face the world (ages – and that’s just the parents!) – these and other questions were on show.  I was so happy to share in her parent’s special moment as they set out on parenthood together.  The birth of a baby – such a special moment!  And this weekend we have another special moment with the First Communion of our young people.  I tell you, boys and girls, you will remember this day for the rest of your lives; I can remember the red sandals and the shorts I wore, I can remember the Communion breakfast we shared afterwards and I can remember all sorts of relatives being there.  And that was 47 years ago!

 

 

 

These are KEY moments in our lives, moments when we recall what our purpose is in life and moments when we remember how central God is to our lives.  In the Gospel today Jesus himself is recalling how central God the Father is to his life on earth.  Several weeks ago I told you of one of the meditations of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises when Ignatius encourages the person making the retreat to imagine the Trinity sitting up in Heaven looking down on the earth.  You are encouraged to imagine God the Father looking down on men and women on the earth making mistakes, sinning and wondering how to remedy this.  The meditation goes that at that point, God the Father send Jesus to go down to earth and lead people back to the origins of their lives, to lead people back to truth, to lead people back to God the Father who created them in the first place.  And Jesus is, therefore, sent – sent out of love!

 

 

 

And here in today’s Gospel we have Jesus towards the end of his life on earth – at the Last Supper – reflecting on how he has acted.  He invites the apostles sitting round that table to reflect on how they have been shown God’s Name and God’s Love.  They have heard God’s Name through the miracles Jesus worked, through the inspiring words he preached, through the one-to-one conversations he had with people who had lost their way in life.  He had guarded people in God’s Love. 

 

 

 

Although the apostles were weak themselves (there was a betrayer and a denyer sitting around that table), they were inspired to keep God’s \Name and God’s Love alive through THEIR words and actions.  Jesus tells them they will live ‘in the world’ but they’ll not be ‘of the world.’

 

 

 

This is a special day for our First Communion families but it is also a special day for all of us.  As he did with his apostles at the Last Supper, Jesus invites YOU to reflect on how YOU have been shown God’s Name and God’s Love.  YOU have heard God’s Name through the Sacraments at Church but also through so many inspiring days – the birth of a baby, the touch of an ill grandmother, the love of sisters and brothers – when you heart has skipped a beat with joy.

 

 

 

Although YOU may be weak, YOU are inspired to keep God’s Name and God’s Love alive through YOUR words and actions.  Jesus tells YOU that you’ll live ‘in the world’ but they’ll not be ‘of the world.’

 

 

 

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