Daily Readings Reflections for 5/25/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 5/25/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Mon.of 7th week of Easter. Acts 19:1-8. Psalm 68:2-3.4-5.6-7.
John 16:29-33. Lectionary # 297:

“Take courage I have overcome the world;”  Jesus says these words to his
apostles and to us at the end of today’s Gospel from John 16:33. Jesus
confirms all of us in our faith and trust in him with these words. They
support us in times of trial, suffering, temptations, and doubt. Yves
Congar writes,”Our earthly condition is essentially that of wayfarers, of
incompleteness moving toward fulfillment, and therefore of struggle.” We
often feel that God may not be near or is not listening to our sincere cry
for help in our prayers, but the example of Paul and the apostles helps us
to understand that this is part of the wayfarer’s journey.  By our
returning to the graces of our baptism we again sense the presence of the
Holy Spirit who fills the hearts of the faithful with gifts beyond our
weaknesses and struggles.  The Spirit is our Advocate and our Consoler in
such times and comes to us because Jesus has promised that we would be
given the Holy Spirit as our Paraclete.  We need the Spirit to return to
Jesus’ words, “Take courage!”  By reflecting again on those  words we
become convinced that Jesus and the Spirit are with us. “Behold! I am with
you all the days even to the end of the world.” We are convinced that Jesus
has overcome the evil of the world and the prince of darkness.  We again
listen and hear Jesus saying, “In me you will find peace.”

The lesson from Acts is somewhat similar in that Paul leads twelve people
from Ephesus to build on their trust in the baptism that John preached and
to raise it to the baptism that is given in the Name of Jesus. These men
like Apollo accept the advice of Paul and after he lays hands on them they
receive the Spirit and are baptized and confirmed in that Holy Spirit. They
begin to speak in tongues and to prophesy. We read, “As Paul laid his hands
on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There
were in the company about twelve men.”

Through the Holy Spirit the face of the earth has been renewed and our
hearts again find confirmation in faith and trust.  We now are able to
listen and hear Jesus say strongly to each one of us, “Take courage I have
overcome the world.”  We pray in profound thanksgiving for the Gifts of the
Spirit.  Meister Eckart gives us this advice while doing so, “If the only
prayer  you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would
suffice.” Amen.

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