“You in the West, you think you’re playing Chess with us. But you are never going to win because we are not following any rules”. Attributed to a Russian mobster, and quoted on page 448 in the recent book, ‘Putin’s People’ by Catherine Belton. That is one version, a 2020 proclamation of how to live and be happy ever after.
Another concept is offered in today’s Gospel, “love one another” with reflections upon that proclamation by Peter in the house of Cornelius.
We are confronted with the simple teaching by Jesus, “What I command you is to love one another.”
Sounds simple…but we still live in a world inhabited by the likes of the Russian mobster.
In addition to the commandment to love, other gifts are promised…
Does the promise of being offered joy excite you? Or does your recent experience of joy only reflect the packaged tinsel of the allurements of Mother’s Day?
What about the statement, “that God does not have favourites”? Surely, he can’t mean Tom, Dick or Harry! They had been on the agenda long before Peter said, “The truth I have now come to realise…”. Hope for me yet!
This statement, “What I command you is to love one another” was, in a sense, unthinkable then given the experiences of their history, even recent history with their neighbours the Samaritans. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is still unthinkable, perhaps even unfathomable today; but we have the Holy Spirit working and abiding with us.
Further, we have been called “friends”. Maybe that is where we end today. Let us spend some time pondering that we have been called friends by Jesus. Me, a friend. Hard to believe. But it is true!
Perhaps it is time that the Russian mobster heard that even he is loved by God and God wants to be his friend. Somehow, we have to spread that message.
Blessings to all women this weekend.