Tina Turner once asked the lyrical question: What's love got to do wih it? Poor Tina Turner, let's help her out. The answer is simple, love has everything to do with it; everything!
The gift of love is from God, who Scripture tells us is love Himself. To love another person, according to the classic, Les Miserables, is to see the face of God. Love is everything!
I experienced a powerful day of love yesterday, as a Deacon, right here, in this our church. Within a matter of hours, I assisted a funeral Mass for a beloved young man. Soon after, I was standing here receiving the vows of a young couple as they became husband and wife. In both the farewell to this fine young man and the marriage of a fine young couple, I had a powerful experience of love. It was palpable, and it impacted me powerfully. Love has everything to do with it.
As people of faith, we are called to love, as Jesus loves!
Even though this is now the 6th week since Easter, the Gospel today takes us back to the Last Supper. Jesus speaks of love and the sending of another Advocate. The Scriptures already tell us that Jesus is our advocate, and so He is. Jesus advocates for us with the Father. But Jesus knows God's plan intimately, so He prepares His friends for what is to come; His passion, His death and His resurrection. And soon after, Jesus will return to the Father at the Ascension and sit at the Father's right hand in Heaven. All of these things Jesus experiences are great gifts of love. So who is this other advocate? We know this advocate to be the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who pleads for us, defends us, supports us, encourages us in this life. The 3rd person of the Most Holy Trinity is our advocate and is the love that exists between the Father and the Son. In the Creed we say that the Holy Spirit is worshipped and glorified; the Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life.
Pope Francis has taught that we are to embrace the act of loving by our dependence on the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit, the Pope reminds us, we are compelled to love one another, yes, our dearest family and friends, but to love also our enemies and those who our culture and society deem unlovable. To love as inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are loved profoundly by the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit! To love as inspired by the Holy Spirit we will also be able to, as St. Peter tells us in the 2nd reading, share with everyone the reason for our hope!
For a little homework this week, all of us can learn so much more about this other advocate, the Holy Spirit. The Catechism, paragraphs 683-747, can help us learn so much about the Holy Spirit.
So dear Tina Turner, what's love got to do with it? Everything!
Come Holy Spirit, come!