For the Thanksgiving Mass on 3rd December 2014...
We are made to return to God, that no matter what we are going through in our lifetimes, we will not remain here forever. What we possess on earth, we will not keep forever.
This may sound very depressing for some of us, if you are like me with many attachments to earthly things. But I think it doesn’t have to be depressing if we allow this truth of life to teach us how to live, how to make choices.
So who then are we to one another? Wives to husbands, sister to brother, friend to friend, lay people to the religious? Who really are we? And why bother so much since even our relationships are not permanent?
I think we are given by God to one another to be companions through this pilgrimage of our lives. And you know for any pilgrimage, there is a starting point and a destination. We are companions to one another on this pilgrimage from where we are to God. Not just a physical journey but a journey of our souls. A spiritual journey.
In the silence of my walk after the Ignatian conference in HK that I just returned from last night, I asked what was the whole experience about? 4 days of listening to people from different parts of the world speaking about spirituality? To sum it all up, it was an experience of being inspired, of allowing myself to be inspired by others who have begun their journeys before me, but who once in a while look back at those behind, like me, and point out the way like sign posts on a highway. An experience of being renewed in my own faith and of growing towards God.
And so we have gathered this evening not because of me, not for me. But that no matter if we are strangers, partners, a torn in the flesh to another, that we take this time to remember the God who made us, the God who has in this time in history brought our lives together to be an inspiration to another, to spread His love even in the most difficult situations.
Each and every one of you seated here has been an inspiration, a companion, a teacher, a guide, a contributor of love into this world I live in. (And please don’t start analysing how you have done this.
But just let go and trust that you have.) I thank you for you and I thank God for you.
On the plane yesterday, I was watching Les Miserables and one of the lines towards the end of the movie that really caught me was when Jean Valjean said, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” And I think that being loved by someone is to touch the heart of God in the depths of our hearts.
And so now, may I invite all of you to close your eyes and recall one experience where you felt the most loved.
Who is this person who loved you?
Imagine this person standing in front of you now… looking at you, and loving you.
Open you heart to let this love flow into the depths of your heart.
Yes, you are loveable enough.
Yes, you are worthy enough.
Yes, you are good enough. Trust that you are.
I invite you to continue keeping your eyes closed.
We are going to celebrate the Eucharist in a short while and we do this to remember God’s love for us. Despite knowing we will be sinners, He still somehow love us so much even when He was hanging on the cross. God’s love for us is at least greater than the person who loves us the most in our lives.
We gather our hearts, our lives, and come now before God. Let us open our hearts and allow God’s infinite love to flow into the depths of our hearts.
May you love and be loved this evening. Amen.