[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD]
5th Sunday of Easter B
May 3, 2015
ATTACHMENT … ATTUNEMENT … AT-ONE-MENT
Attachment is a good word to begin our reflection for today. John, the “beloved” disciple uses two endearing terms in his letter, and the first word he used is “children.” He is not just connected in some vague, hazy fashion. He is attached to those he cared for, like the now proverbial fox who told the little prince: “You are responsible for whom you tame!”
But he uses a more important word … “beloved,” beloved of God, that is.
Right now, I have four dogs, three of which I have adopted: one was given and two were kind of “inherited.” Now even dogs instinctively seem to develop some kind of “connection” with those who take care of them. They become sort of “attached” to their master, and one of them, instinctively again, seems to be attuned to my ways, my habits, my schedule. He even knows better to rouse me a few minutes before my alarm rings at 4:40 each morning.
One can assume that dogs do know by instinct how to return favors given!
But dogs are not humans. They behave instinctively, according to the imprints of nature. Humans, instead, can choose and decide freely. They can change dramatically and make 180 degree turn-arounds, like Paul (known as Saul) did! “He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem, and spoke boldly in the name of the Lord.” Take note, that prior to this, he was “breathing murderous threats” against the same believers he now joined.
Saul, become Paul, behaved exactly like John did, once he saw the light. He, too, became attached to his disciples, and wrote endearing letters to the churches he founded and started.
But attachment is not just mere sentimentalism and shallow connection. No … it bloomed into attunement and at-one-ment. It became “love not just in word but in deed and truth.” It became obedience to the primacy of love as the fulfilling of the law … It was not just a matter of being loved by God, and loving God in return. It was a case of “loving one another just as he commanded us.”
Dogs have come and gone in my life. People close to me at some point also eventually drift away for many reasons, time and distance, included. People walk in and out of my life and I just have to accept that reality, whether I like it or not. Time and distance, and other factors tend to wear away both attachment and attunement.
But today, there is Someone whose love does not fade, does not wear off, does not wane. And He has proven it beyond expectation, beyond anyone’s dream. He suffered. Died. Buried. And he rose from the dead. All for love. All on account of that love so great for me and for you and for everyone … yes, including those who like Saul then, continue to “breathe murderous threats” even against the loving God Himself.
I should like to listen to him now, for I should know by now that his love is everlasting. “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
I should like to be attached. I would like to keep attuned. And today, I decide to be at-one with Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.