St. Damien de VeusterDear Family of Mary!
“These things I have spoken to you that my Joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
Our Lady said to us:
July 2, 2012“My children; Again, in a motherly way, I implore you to stop for a moment and to reflect on yourselves and on the transience of this your earthly life. Then reflect on eternity and the eternal beatitude. What do you want? Which way do you want to set out on?
This is a very important question for each one of us. Something to ponder each day of our lives. It has everything to do with Jesus’ joy! Do we want His joy? Fr. Leon’ homily for May 6, 2021 is an excellent teaching on eternity and what we should think about it:
English Homily in Medjugorje
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Fr. Leon Pereira
The Lord Be With You.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
John 15: 9-11
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you that my Joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
What is the perfect age to be?
I think most of us imagine it’s probably the age that we’re at now. If we’re older, we might think, “Oh, I wish I was this age, when I had the health and vigor of a 20-year-old.” And then we would say, “That’s the perfect age!” Because we all know; we, who are older, we think, “Oh, thank God, I’m not as silly as I used to be when I was a child;” “Thank God I’m not as embarrassing as I used to be when I was a teenager.” We know this. It’s easy enough to look back and say this, and to think, “Oh, well, you know, I wasn’t so bad in my twenties.” “I was better in my thirties,” you know, etc.
But what is the perfect age to be? What age will we be in the Resurrection?
In the Middle Ages, people said, “Probably the same age as Jesus – 33.” And then they also said, “Well, what shape will we be?” You know, how will we look? What kind of bodies will we have? Will we look like infants? Will we look like children? Or teenagers? Or grownups? Or elderly? Or what kind of body are you going to have at the Resurrection? And no one really knew.
But one guess was – they said, “Well, the perfect shape is a sphere” – so we’ll be 33 years old and a round ball. This is how we will look at the Resurrection. Actually, we had a friar in the convent who at the age of 33 was a perfect sphere. But that’s another story!
The problem is: Eternity is quite different from everything we are used to – almost everything we are used to. Eternity is not time stretching out forever and ever, so get that out of your heads. Eternity is more like the present moment – Now. It’s fully possessing everything that you ever were, and ever will be, and are, in one single moment – Now.
So, God, because He’s eternal – He’s not very, very old. He’s fresher than the newest thought that you’ve just had. He’s newer than the newest thought that you just had. Even now – even, the thought that you just had, is old compared to God.
Eternity is very hard for us to conceive of, because there’s very little about us that shares in Eternity. We get a glimpse of it. You know, in your happiest moments, you forget that time flies, and, you know, hours can go by, and you’ve never even noticed, and you’re not even tired. That’s a little glimpse of the natural “Eve Eternity” that your soul shares in; because our souls are made to be eternal in this sense: although they had a beginning, they do not have an end.
Now, I say all this because I want to talk about “God’s Eternity.” God begets. The Father begets the Son in Eternity – meaning, He does it now. And He breaths through Him and for Him, the Holy Spirit. He gives everything that He is, the Father gives everything that He is, to the Son; everything except being a Father. Because that is the one thing… it is not a thing that He has, it is a relationship He has. That is not something you can give. And it only happens as the Son is begotten.
The Son is begotten, in Eternity. The Father says, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” in Eternity. And the Son says, in Eternity, “Behold, I come to do your will as it stands written in the scroll of the book concerning me.” And they both say this in the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the Joy proceeding from the Father and the Son, the Eternal Joy of God at being God.
I have said all this before; that’s why it’s worth saying again. Why am I saying this?
Well, what about us? When God plans to make us, does He sit in Eternity and think after a while, “Oh, I think I’ll make a Universe.” No. Because God is Eternal, His plan to make all of us is Eternal. So, as the Father breeds the Spirit through the Son, and begets the Son, He at the same time – in Eternity – plans every single one of us, and everything about this universe, everything about our lives. All the good that He desires to give us, and to make in that Eternal begetting of the Son, and Eternal spiration of the Spirit, He plans all this.
So, for example, when we come to the Eucharist, we can say, “Oh, isn’t it marvelous, that Bread and Wine are such good symbols for Body and Blood?” He didn’t make Bread to look like Christ’s Body, and Wine to look like Christ’s Blood. He planned all this from Eternity, that they would indeed resemble each other. It’s not a great coincidence; not at all. This is an Eternal plan.
Now, with this in mind, when we hear what the Gospel says to us today, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Jesus is saying, the Father has loved me (the Eternal Son) with the Holy Spirit; therefore, I also have loved you with the Holy Spirit.
“Abide in my love.” That love is the Holy Spirit. Remain in the Holy Spirit is what He’s saying.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.” What are His commandments? To be faithful to the Father’s will; to go to the cross. He says, this is His commandment for Him. And then He says to us, “I give you a new commandment, Love one another as I have loved you. A man has no greater love than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” So, this is about sacrifice and friendship; communion with each other.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, [Meaning, you will stay in the Holy Spirit] just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” In other words, Jesus desires us to have this Communion that the Trinity has; and He desires us to have it.
And then He says the most shocking thing of all: “These things I have spoken to you that my Joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” “My Joy may be in you,” meaning my Holy Spirit, that it will live in you, He will live in you; “and that your joy may be full.”
Why is this Good News for us? It is Good News because this is the best thing in the whole universe. There is nothing better than this.
Every earthly thing that we are looking for, the solution to our problems; every distraction we are chasing after – games, sports, drugs, recreation, friendship, the Internet; everything that we desire, so that we think, “My life can proceed if all of this is sorted out – if my parents are well and my children are healthy, or whatever; even though we think all these things are what we need, the answer is actually this: The Holy Trinity.
And until we come to that, we will never be happy, and never be complete. He says, “I have spoken these things to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” In other words, your joy will never be complete without the Holy Spirit. This is what we all long for, even though we might not realize it. This is what our hearts are yearning for, to be one with the Trinity. There is nothing – absolutely nothing – better than this.
I’m going to end here now with a poem by Robert Southwell, a Jesuit martyr. In prison while awaiting his gruesome death, he wrote a poem – he scratched it on the wall – and in one of the stanzas… he suddenly just departed completely from his theme, and he said this:
Gift better than Himself, God doth not know,
Gift better than God no man can see;
This gift doth here the giver given bestow,
Gift to this gift let each receiver be:
God is my gift, Himself He freely gave me,
God’s gift am I, and none but God shall have me.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
(c)Mary TV 2021