Daily Reflection – May 3, 2016
Tuesday 3 May 2016
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Their message goes out through all the earth
Gospel Reading: John 14:6-14
Today’s Saint: St Philip and St James, Apostles
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Paul speaks “in front of the Aeropagus” in Athens. Today it is a large stone but in the time before Christ, it served as a gathering place for the ruling council. In Paul’s time it was a place for philosophers, an academy. Notice how Paul’s usual speech changes, in order to win the philosophers’ good opinion. When he gets to God’s raising “a man whom God appointed”, Jesus, from the dead, he loses them, and they mock him. Paul has asserted that in God “we live and move and have our being.” Jesus promises that “the Spirit will guide you into all truth.” In truth we live and move and have our being.
Paul tries to communicate with Greek philosophers, using their language. Except for two, Dionysius and Damaris, no one else is convinced. Have you ever experienced trying to share your belief to someone in another culture (even a youth culture) and failed? What constitutes failure? You only got two “converts?” Is failure about numbers? If the Spirit is guiding you into all truth, then you may need to speak as you are, authentically. The point is to try to communicate Jesus. You may have done that in another way. Ask the Spirit to show you when your authenticity made Jesus plain to another or others. (A caveat: better to proclaim Jesus and not the Catholic church at this point in history. Better to join the Body, a community, than to enter an institution).
Jesus, you promised us a word and wisdom when we are dragged before courts. We need the Spirit’s truth and wisdom now as we reach out to let others know your love for them. We need a smile for all whom we meet.