Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 6, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Acts of the Apostles 12:24-13-5a

Psalm 67

John 12:44-50

 

Sisters and brothers, Easter is a season of responding!  We are invited not only to celebrate the Resurrection, but also to put it into practice in our thoughts and actions.  Today the Words of the Gospel, consistent with this theme, present us with a challenge.  Jesus is the light who reveals the Father.  The Words that He speaks are the Words of truth, and following them, remaining faithful to them, determines how we will fair of Judgement Day.  Interestingly, Jesus says that the source of condemnation is not Himself, but the Words that He spoke.  Jesus’ mission is to save, but His Words mete our God’s justice.  There would appear to be a subtle message that there is no unjust mercy in God.  God’s Word and God’s command require a response.

How then to we respond?  It is easy to listen to only one side of this message.  We might hear Jesus say, “And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”  Our Catholic tradition has always emphasized the balance that exists between God’s mercy and God’s judgement and between God’s call and our response.  Still, there remains the question, how do we respond?

The reading from the Book of Acts insists that a response must come from a call.  The early Christian community, attempting to respond to the Gospel and spread the news of the Resurrection, was trying to discern who to send forth in mission. The decision, actually, is not theirs.  It is the Holy Spirit who decides who to send.  In the end, the community described in the Acts of the Apostles trusted that God would show them how to proceed and, to return to the image offered in today’s Gospel narrative, how to respond to the Word that Jesus offered.

The comparisons between John’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles evokes for us a message of confident trust.  When we gather together in prayer as a community of faith, the Spirit of God is with us, showing us how to listen to the Words of Jesus and how to follow them.

Question of the Day:  How will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into a life of service to the Church and its community?

Prayer:  “I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, and have appointed you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last, alleluia.”  (Communion Antiphon for Holy Mass – May 6, 2020.)

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.

Prosit

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