Mysteries, the inexplicable and the incomprehensible, abound in even the most ordinary of lifetimes. There are those oddly synchronous moments where everything comes together in a harmony unanticpated, when the senses can barely digest what is happening for the sheer delight of it all. And there are the exact opposite: hurricane winds fragment everything held dear collapsing what is familiar treasure to rubble unidentifiable. Either way, mysteries court life with every sunrise. On this Sixth Sunday of Easter, the mystery to consider is love.
Love is not adulation or admiration. Love is evident in the understanding words of Peter, “…I myself am also a human being.” He recognizes the sameness, the mutuality of a man who has come in awe to kneel before him. He names himself “human” as if it is no title whatsoever, as if the word itself provides an equality that encompasses difference. But he also dares to articulate how and why that exists. “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality…” A simple phrase defies the idea that some are chosen, beloved, blessed by God and some are less than that. Instead, there is a firm conviction asserted here. God’s Love is inexplicable, incomprehensible, and belongs to all. There is no earning it, deserving it, or compromising it. It simply IS, in a way that is far beyond what humans comprehend.
Love and relationships can be torturous trails pockmarked with fear, mistrust, loss and cruelty. Friendships, parent-child, peer and partner sharings suffer through jealousy, selfishness, insensitivity, dsiplaced anger and bouts of narcissism. But they can also be journeys deep into the soul that name the same fears, dare the same dreams, find the same hopes and choose the same paths. The idea that God’s love is a constant is barely aligned with human actions and thoughts. The second reading declares that “God IS love…” and lets that dance with Mystery begin again.
Can Love like this be defined? Known? Experienced? Appreciated? Is it possible to live with a God so willing to be understood as love? Is it possible to live without that?
We live in a time of conflict and controversy, of questioning and research, of doubt and misgivings. Love, though, is still there, still constant, still present. Still not presupposing but waiting to be rediscovered in the melee. Easter is a celebration of the great demonstration of love. The Sixth Sunday after Easter is a celebration, too, of learning what this kind of love is really all about. That learning comes to life in simply being human. In recognizing, as Peter did, that each of us is nothing more and nothing less than a human being. More importantly, each of us is so loved by a patient God who simply desires to remain with us.