6th Sunday of Easter — Deacon Newton homily

Deacon Gary – Homily 6th Sunday of Easter


Would it be safe to say that all of us, all human beings, are in search for the fulfillment of all desire? We all want what would make us happy. If I asked you what that means to you, what would fulfill all that you could possibly desire, what would you say? Some may rattle off one or many things, and some may say they don’t have a clue, or maybe even that is not humanly possible.


It may make you wonder if that is OK to feel that way as it sounds like it would be self-serving which goes against what we have preached about many times. One of our goals in life is to not be focused inward on ourselves but to be outward focused. Remember what Jesus said about himself in Mark 10:45; “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus is our role model so how do we reconcile our inner most desires to Christ’s message.


Part of our challenge is to recognize that desire in itself is not bad, it depends on what the desire is. Desire in itself is good if it drives us to search for and attain what it is that God desires for us. God also wants us to be completely joyful. Maybe we should be asking God what it is that He desires for us. He would know what would bring us true joy. That is the real question.


Saint Augustine writes in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Our hearts and souls will not be satisfied by the material things of this world but that is what so many people strive for thinking more things will bring them the happiness they want. This is the great lie from the evil one that, like Adam and Eve, we unfortunately fall for.


What should we focus on to help us reach our goal of the fulfillment of all desire? We have a tendency to focus on our physical health, which is very important to help us live a long life. But even if we are blessed to live 100 years, how does that compare to our afterlife which will be for all eternity? Considering how we live our lives during our time in this world determines our eternity, how much time and effort do we place on our spiritual health compared to our physical health? I would venture to say that most people don’t think much about their spiritual health when considering their overall health and wellbeing.


There is a book I read which I recommend to anyone who is in search for the fulfillment of all desire. The desire that God wants for us. In fact that is the actual name of the book, “The Fulfillment of All Desire” by Ralph Martin. It is essentially a guidebook for the Journey to God based on the Wisdom of the Saints.


Our readings today are a window into answering this same question. It comes down to the root of what will lead us to the fulfillment of all desire. The readings are about love. Love will lead us. If we believe that God is love than our goal should be to follow Jesus’ commandment as stated in the Gospel today to “Love one another as I love you.” Jesus also says in the Gospel: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.”’ This is saying that Jesus’ love for us is the same as the Father’s love for him. Can we love others as Jesus loves us, with the same love as the Father? That is a mouthful.


If I asked you right now to look to the person to your left and then look to the person to your right, would you be able to say to that person sitting next to you that you love them? You might shake their hand or nod during the sign of peace, but could you tell them that you love them as Jesus does? That is the road we need to travel on our way to the fulfillment of all desire. They are directly connected. Do you remember the statement that you must walk in someone else’s shoes before you can say you know them? We must walk in the shoes of Jesus, we must travel the road he traveled.


In order for us to walk in his shoes, we must form a deep personal relationship with Jesus. To do that we must get to know him. The scriptures tell us to love as he loves. We must become fully self-emptying in order to be fully outward focused. This journey will lead us to a knowledge of God. Jesus said in John 14:7: “If you know me, you will also know my Father.”


This faith journey is attainable in our lifetime, which is what the Saints were able to attain in their life. Yes, if they could do it, so can we. That doesn’t mean we have to become a canonized Saint, but we must follow in the path of Jesus in our own personal unique way like they did. It is not an easy path in life. Too truly love requires sacrifice.


The fulfillment of all desire can only be attained by first coming to know God through Jesus. Coming to love others as Jesus loves us leads to this knowledge of God. But there is a deeper knowledge of God that can only be attained in heaven. It is then that we will attain the fulfillment of all desire.


We think of heaven as the gift of eternal peace immersed in incomprehensible love. It is, but there are no words that can adequately describe it. Our goal is as stated in Ephesians 3:19: “… to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”


The ultimate gift to us from God is love beyond our understanding. It is the fulfillment of all desire, the fullness of God, experienced in heaven as The Beatific Vision.

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