Daily Reflection – May 2, 2016
Monday 2 May 2016
First Reading: Acts 16:11-15
The Lord takes delight in his people
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
Gospel Reading: John 15:26 – 16:4
Today’s Saint: St Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”
The Lord opened her heart to pay attention. (Acts 16:14)
This passage from Paul to the Corinthians is very important in our understanding of apostleship. First, Paul proclaims the kerygma which we proclaim at every Eucharist, the mystery of faith. He continues: The Risen One “appeared first to Cephas, then to the twelve, then to more than 500 brothers and sisters at one time…to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all…to me…” Do you see the discrepancy? Paul insists in his letters, that to experience that Jesus of Nazareth is alive creates us as apostles, ones sent. It is not being among the “Twelve.” All who experience Jesus as Risen Christ are commissioned to hand on good news. And the good news: In Jesus we find the best ikon of God: “If you have seen me, Philip, you have seen the Father.” Jesus is the sacrament of God, putting flesh on God’s love and faithfulness.
If you want to know God, look at Jesus. You will never finish looking at him because every human being is mystery, God is mystery, you are mystery. You are always coming to believe, to hope, to love him more as you know him more and more intimately. When you doubt God’s steady kindness, when you fear God’s judgment, when you feel guilty, look at Jesus. Did he ever fail in kindness, did he ever judge, did he make anyone feel guilty? Look at him and hear him say to you: “Peace.”
What is your story going to be? Everyone is so busy with their everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring people to Jesus by being a friendly neighbor, a helpful coworker, or a faithful friend. Sometimes the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact, like picking up the phone and letting someone know you’ve been thinking of them or inviting the new family on the block over for dinner. Gestures like these can open up a world of opportunities for fellowship and sharing.
Very few of us will ever be in the limelight. Our stories will probably not be written down and preserved for centuries. We can play an important role in the kingdom of God just by looking for opportunities right here in our homes and communities. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Lord, and you’ll begin to notice how many ways you can share his gospel. And trust that as you step out in faith, God will give you a double portion of his grace.
Help us, Jesus, to put flesh on you in this age, in this culture. Let all who meet us look up and see no longer us, but you and the One who sent you. Give us your heart, please.
“Father, help me to see the opportunities you give me to share your good news. I want to be a humble yet powerful witness to your love.”