In today’s readings, we catch a glimpse of the glorious unity of God’s people. This week is the seventh Sunday of Easter, and the Scriptural texts reflect the tensions and juxtapositions that are so characteristic of this time in the Church calendar. We read of freedom from bondage, extravagant divine power and sovereignty, the eternal and eschatological reign of Christ, and the invitation to respond to Christ – to live in the unity and love at the heart of the Christian story
At the same time, such triumphal and exuberant words and themes may be experienced as alienating, clanging loudly in the ears of those who do not experience freedom, joy, belief, and love. This is a tension worth remembering, acknowledging, and grappling with openly and honestly: how do we recognize and affirm the reality of the Gospel’s power and the centrality of Christ’s life-giving love, even while we (and parishioners) may be existing in darkness, pain, doubt, bondage of all forms?