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Catholic Homilies
May 25th, 2003 A.D.

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Sixth Sunday of Easter Jn 15/9-17


St. John tries every metaphor he can think of to express his mystical insight into the relationship between Jesus and us - the good shepherd, the vine and the branches, a group of people who should be servants to a great lord but have in fact become a community of his friends whose joy he wants to be complete. Obviously is a reflection on the actual community that existed among Jesus and his immediate followers, a memory kept alive through the decades before John wrote his Gospel and strove to expand and deepen our understanding of the intimacy of our actual, here and now relationship with Jesus and the Father.

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Once upon a time there was a certain bishop who was very proud of being a bishop. He was also very careful to see that everyone treated him with great respect because, after all, he was one of the successors of the apostles, wasn't he? He didn't seem to remember what a stubborn, pig-headed, and difficult crowd the apostles were. He was upset whenever the acolytes that the masses he said around the diocese were not trained to perfection. Some people thought he was a real jerk. Others thought he was a nice enough guy for a bishop but that he had a few obsessions that he would well get along without.  So one day, the sixth Sunday of Easter to be exact, he was saying mass at a parish where a certain mother had warned her little girl not to offend the bishop. Well, the little girl was a feisty one and she wasn't afraid of the bishop or anyone else (few six grade girls are). So when she was slow in bringing the towel for the washing of hands and he snapped his fingers impatiently, she stopped in her tracks. Bring me the towel the bishop ordered. The feisty little girl remembered the Gospel and shouted right back. Don't give me orders, I'm not a servant, I'm a friend. Everyone laughed. So did the bishop. He hugged her and said of course she was a friend because she had the courage to tell him when he was making a fool out of himself. Then everyone applauded and the bishop had learned a valuable lesson about what the Church is.

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Then everyone applauded and the bishop had learned a valuable lesson about what the Church is
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