From the Hermitage
In reflecting upon the activities of the Apostles and other disciples as described in the writings of St. John, proposed for our liturgy today, I was called by the Holy Spirit to words of a man who was my Superior General when I was a Jesuit. Blessed in a special way by God, I had several occasions to spend time with Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ. Words that he spoke, off the cuff as we say, to a group of religious women, came to mind. Let me share those words with your this morning.
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.
How many times these words have come into my mind! Again this morning. They speak so clearly of one of the most powerful experiences a human being can have and share ... falling in love.
Recall, if you will, how your heart, your mind, your everything changed when you found yourself in love. Love can be the controlling reality in your life. Obviously what the Apostles and many early disciples discovered was a definite love for Jesus and from that a love for the mission they shared as preachers of the life they shared with a man who taught them so much.
Whether married, or married once before, whether a widow or widower, whether a husband or wife together raising a family, whether a man or woman who as been smitten by another, read and re-read Father Arrupe's insightful reflection on what it means to fall in love and the many ways being in love can change your life.
Then, consider your relationship with God, especially Jesus Christ. For sure the Apostles and disciples of Jesus had the advantage of living with and working with Jesus during his years of teaching and preaching. But we are graced by God to know so much about Jesus, so much that can ignite the fire of love within our own hearts if we allow that to happen. Recall Jesus' meeting with the Apostle Thomas who could not believe what the Apostles told him after Jesus' first appearance to them: "You believe, Thomas, because you have seen me and touched my body. Blessed are those who have not seen but who believe."
Have you ever had the feeling of being in love with Jesus Christ? Has a love for Jesus ever gotten you out of bed in the morning, determined what you will do with your evenings? I do not know your answer but I do encourage your knowing the last sentence.
Fall in love, stay in love and it will decided everything.