God with us

On Saturday we had the joy of welcoming a new RSCJ into our midst, when a novice made her vows in the Society, and of sharing and rejoicing in her joy at being able to do so. Inevitably, occasions like this are a time for us to recall our own moments of call, response and commitment. More importantly, they allow us to recall at depth the WHO and the WHY at the centre of our commitment; the God who has called us in love, for love.

In a reflection during the Mass Janet explained that the WHO for her is a God who is with us, in every circumstance and corner of our lives; a God who weeps with us and rejoices with us; a God who wants to be with us, who delights to be with us, who lavishes love on us as a parent to a child. This, she said, is a God with whom she wants to throw in her lot; but also a God whose love is too big for her to keep it all to herself. And that, of course, is the WHY: a Love too great to be contained within one person; a Love impelling her - impelling each of us - to share it with others. 

And indeed, there is something truly irresistible about such a God, such a Love: as irresistible as Jesus must have been to the first disciples who, in today's Gospel (Mark 1:14-20), followed him immediately.

I was pondering all this when my social media feeds began to fill with tributes to David Bowie, who shocked and saddened so many by his untimely death. Although I was never a truly great fan, he was a 'local lad', whose songs formed part of the backdrop to my adolescence and teens. Among the tributes are reminders of his collaboration with Freddie Mercury in singing Under Pressure. Towards the end the lyrics speak of love, speak something of what Janet shared in her reflection and in her choice of readings and hymns. They urge us to give love, give love, give love... to care and to change.

That, of course, is the consequence of throwing in your lot with the God who is with us. May Janet - and all of us - find tremendous joy in this, and challenge, and constant, deepening transformation and growth.

Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?...

'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves...