Reflection for Tuesday, May 3, 2011: 2nd week in Easter.
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Today is the feast of Sts Phillip and James. Both were two of the original apostles hand picked by Jesus to be with Him and to carry on after He was gone. At the American Catholic.org web site, there is an interesting comment about these apostles:||As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving. All power is God's power, even the power of human freedom to accept his gifts. "You will be clothed with power from on high," Jesus told Philip and the others. Their first commission had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, announce the kingdom. They learned, gradually, that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle inside their persons-the divine power to love like God.|As we continue in this season of Easter, we are reminded of the incredible gifts from God to each of us. Frequently, I am so moved when I stop and think of the blessings that have been bestowed on me - I know it is not because of any worthiness - just a pure gift - true grace. The most important aspect for me, and where some of my choice is evident, is to have an open heart and to accept both humbly and gratefully these gifts. During this season, we are again able to say Alleluia allowing us to give glory to God and thanks for these many gifts.|In the first reading, Paul reminds us that we are Easter people and are saved because of the greatest gift of all - Christ died for our sins. Paul references the various appearances of Christ - while we did not witness those appearances, we are privy to "see" him when we take the time to do so. We need only open the eyes of our hearts to see Christ in the everyday occurrences of our lives. We can experience His presence when we are not blinded by the trappings of this world and see beyond them. Those that surround us, both through their kindnesses and needs, remind us of the living Christ.|Our responsorial psalm is a declaration of the impending Goods News and our challenge to continue giving this message. We can respond with a simple Alleluia - a means to give glory and praise through the uttering of one word. It is such a powerful word - I can often feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as I sing this word in church. It resounds with such power and grace - the very word affirms our blessing.|I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. I love these words - the message is quite clear. Jesus is our Savior - our connection to God. It is through him that we are saved for all eternity. I wonder how Jesus has the patience to deal with the questions and doubts always being expressed by the early disciples. (Of course, we are no different these days - we our doubts and lingering questions). Miracle after miracle has been shown - Christ is there in front of them - living proof. Yet, always one more condition - one more proof and that will be enough for us. We will ever have enough proof. Yet Jesus never turns from us, willing to help us understand what is beyond our simple minds. However, is not faith the acceptance without specific proof - we believe what we cannot fully understand or see?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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