Daily Reflection – Apr 29, 2018
Sunday 29 April 2018
First Reading: ACTS 9:26-31
I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
PS 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32
Second Reading: 1 JN 3:18-24
Gospel Reading: JN 15:1-8
Today’s Note: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
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.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
Let us love . . . in deed and truth. (1 John 3:18)
In today’s second reading, John offers us solid guidance on how to “remain” in God’s love (1 John 3:24). He tells us that one of the secrets to this is to listen to the movements of our hearts. That’s because the heart, or the conscience, is the place where the Holy Spirit speaks to us most intimately.
On one end of the spectrum, John talks about having “confidence in God (3:21),” which means the Spirit is pouring God’s love into us and reassuring us that we are following his commands. On the other end of the spectrum, our hearts can “condemn” us when the Spirit makes it clear that we have acted selfishly and taken advantage of someone (3:20). Surely we have all had experiences on both ends of this spectrum.
John makes it clear that it’s not only a matter of our own consciences. Throughout his letter, he emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s work of writing his words in our hearts and helping us to follow them.
So what does this mean for us? It means that if the Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts, then we should take it seriously when we sense a tug in our hearts. We should pay attention to the movements of our hearts, because it may well be that the Spirit is trying to help us make the right decisions and draw closer to the Lord.
It’s exciting to know that the Holy Spirit is constantly at work forming our hearts and helping us to make good decisions. He’s even at work when we aren’t aware of him! It’s reassuring to know that he won’t stop working in us until our every thought and action pleases Jesus and builds up his kingdom.
So try to remain in God’s love today. Try to listen to the movements of your heart. And try to put into practice whatever you think God is asking of you.
“Holy Spirit, come and move in my life. Inspire me to do good deeds in spirit and in truth.”