Young Church Mass, Sunday 1st May 2016
One of the most famous and often quoted lines of any saint are the words of St Augustine, written roughly 1600 years ago are his words “You have made us for yourself, O God and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Those words are a bit like the words we heard instead of the Psalm “You are the one I want, You are the one I want.” We can easily apply those words to God, because in actual fact we all long for God’s presence in our life, we all yearn for something – for SOMEONE – who completes our life.
Then there is another of St Augustine’s sayings: “I was looking for you outside myself and I did not find the God of my own heart.”
Both of those quotes of a saint of hundreds of years ago are very apt for tonight Young Church Mass which has the theme “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” Both of those quotes actually say the same thing that we heard in that song; “You are the one I want, you are the one I want” it’s really what Augustine was saying hundreds of years ago. That song ended up
“When the years are showing on my face
When my heart and flesh depart this place
You’ll still be the one I want, You’ll still be the one I want…”
The theme chosen for this Mass are of course from today’s Gospel.
“If anyone loves me he or she will keep my word,
And my Father will love him /her, And we shall come to him/her
And make our home with them.”
That’s an incredible promise…..God will be at home in us, that’s what we in fact all long for, we just don’t know sometimes that it is God we are looking for.
We refer to God’s unconditional love, God’s complete acceptance of us, and that’s true, God does accept us, but it seems that Jesus is putting a condition on that tonight.
“IF anyone loves me he or she will keep my word,
And my Father will love them And we shall come to them
And make our home with them.”
The “IF” is a condition, really it is reminding us that IF we face the struggle against selfishness and self-centeredness, the thought that “life is all about me!!” then we will find inner calm and peace. The IF is telling us to think about all those things that might prevent us from living the Way of Jesus, Telling the Truth of Jesus, Walking the Way of Jesus. It’s about making Jesus the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega of our lives – and all that we say and do.
There’s another incredible promise of Jesus.
“My Father will love that person and WE will come and make our home in him or her.”
……. a little bit further on Jesus makes us another promise.
“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit – whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything……
IF we love Jesus – TRY to love him (and that’s all any of us can do) then the Spirit of God will also help us to look deep into our hearts, into our souls and minds so that we can honestly see what stops us from being the people God wants us to be. The Spirit will help us to see what prevents us from living the ways of God.
What are the ways of God?
To serve each other
To be compassionate
To live in communion with one another
Not to condemn. To make judgements –yes, but not condemn, to forgive, to show mercy.
To love enemies or those who hate us
To wash one another’s feet
This is His Way, this is the Way of God, we need Jesus and the Father to make their home in us, we need the Holy Spirit to teach us, because we cannot live the ways of God by ourselves. We need God’s Spirit and we need each other.
We all look for God, St Augustine did years ago without realising that while he was looking outside for happiness, peace and contenment, God was already living within him… “I was looking for you outside myself and I did not find the God of my own heart.”
That’s what that song told us about too. You’ll be the one I want, You’ll be the one I want….
God will live in us; Jesus has promised that IF we love him. We cannot help but love God when we know that God loved us first. God loves us first, we come to know that, THEN we respond , we look deep inside ourselves every day and ask if we are making room so that God can be at home within us, so that the Holy Spirit can live inside us and teach us.
God is the one we want, God is the One we long for, God is the One our hearts cry out for……remember: “You have made us for yourself, O God and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”