Greetings on this the Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 6:8-15; PS 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30; Jn 6:22-29
Note: Personal Reflection.
I think it is important to remember that the early Jewish sect was generally accepted if not completely. It is the contest between the powerful in every faction that caused the greatest harm. Long lasting harm that exists to this day.
This could have gone much better.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles portion today is a fulcrum.
Stephen, the deacon, filled with grace and power, was strong in his reasoning.
I don’t mean to be snarky but the people who came forward to debate him were not the center of the faith tradition. The Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyreneans, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia could be considered brothers in faith but distant in some ways.
The accusations are half true. Yes, Jesus is presented as superior to Moses and, no, Jesus did not come to destroy the temple or the people and certainly not to destroy the faith.
Although Stephen was like the face of an angel, they could not bring themselves to trust his witness.
- On the one side we have what we know.
- On the other side what is new.
- In the middle a person and a question.
- We can eliminate the questions by rejecting the premise to pre-fit our understanding.
- We can neutralize the person by denying his character and his intentions.
In doing so we become blind to truth.
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Even today we still struggle with understanding how to obey the Law. For some the Law is the hammer to crush anyone with sin.
I sometimes wonder if they ever actually understood St Paul’s writing on law and freedom.
Jesus asks us to consider this question, “Why do you follow me?”
Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
I want to go to heaven. Whatever good or bad occurs in this life, I want the restfulness of being in the presence of God. I ask God to remember the good I have done and forget the bad.
I want my family to go to heaven. Some family we are biological with and some family we are chosen by and in both cases I want them in heaven too when their time comes.
I want to help my human family. Time and again presenting Jesus as friend and helper is a most fulfilling way of life for me. Seeing someone rediscover their innocence is amazing. Seeing someone know, often for the first time, their dignity of person is humbling.
In sacramental confession I talk to him as my Savior.
In Eucharistic Adoration I talk with him in appreciation and I hand him all the troubles given to me as gift from others. These are some of the most sacred moments in my life.
In Holy Communion I am thankful he counts me worthy to receive him. I eagerly want to know the intimacy that is the second person of God. I love the intimacy of the Holy Spirit who talks with me as worthy to live the needs of myself and others.
In sacred Scripture, the love journal, is like a family story with moments of personally relatable stories and insights to another’s story (yesterday, today, in the future). I love too the love letter of scripture that brings insight into the inner personhood of God.
In ministerial role, the complexity of real love. The Church is its people. Ministers are people tasked and gifted with specialized skills/tools to help the body of Christ. Ministerial ordination is at one time both joyful and painful. Paul describes it well as being poured out like a libation.
In my trust issues (yes, we all have them) I am impatient with the Lord. I trust him but super annoyed he is so slow to act. Yes, I know the scripture that says otherwise but this is about my trust issues and the truth of it. My biggest weakness is to ‘take matters into my own hands’.
My career(s). Looking back it is far clearer to me how the Lord guided me and protected me. Without a doubt. In the moment, not so much. My career began with IBM mainframes and Univac systems. Then to Wang VS, to personal computers, to networks and then to bulletin boards to the Internet.
Every step of the way I whined that Lord was taking away what I knew for the unknown. The unknown was better.
Never Alone. I am never alone. I love being loved like that.
Why do you follow him?
Peace be with you,