John Connelly


Fifth Sunday of Easter – April 24, 2016
Acts 14.21-27 | Psalm 145 | Revelation 21.1-5 | John 13.1, 31-35
April 18, 2016

The scriptures constantly point us to life's spiritual dimension.

This week's Second Reading from Revelation says, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more for the first things have passed away. And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.'"

This promise of eternal life with God is an encouragement to persevere. All of our hardships, our mourning, our disappointments will pass away. All of the wars, prejudice, terrorism and division will pass away.

Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. - John 13.34

'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.'

John 13.34

We will be with God. We will know God and his love intimately and forever. We will no longer be limited by our doubts, fears and lack of trust. Jesus will make all things new.

In fact, this new life with God begins here and now. How does this happen? One breath at a time. One heartbeat at a time. In this present moment.

God is with us now but to perceive him, we need to slow down. We need to become profoundly aware of life passing by.

The modern world is full of distractions. It fills our hearts and minds with media and with a constant list of things to do. Rather than entering fully into the moment, we think about other things. Life feels cluttered and busy. For many, it feels overwhelming.

So let's slow way down. Let's see every breath we take as a gift from God. Let's live the experience of this moment fully.

I call this "slow-motion living." When I enter into whatever is happening and fully engage with my life and relationships, I become more aware of God's presence. I become open to God's limitless love.

Last week my oldest daughter came for a visit. At one point the entire family sat around and watched old videos. It was a beautiful, bittersweet moment to see images of my small children playing and interacting at the beach, singing songs and living the joy of childhood.

Then I looked around at my children, many now teenagers, and it all seems to have gone by too fast.

I cannot help but feel that I was not always fully present to the wonder and innocence of my children. I may have been there with them, but too often I was thinking about the "important" worries which consume my life. Children call to us to slow down and be present.

God is woven into the fabric of our relationships and experiences. How do I find God? One moment at a time, by fully entering into the joys and sorrows of life with an open heart.

Lord Jesus, teach me to slow down. Teach me to find your love here and now. One breath, one heartbeat, one relationship at a time.