Reflection for Tuesday, May 4, 1999: 5th week in Easter.
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I wish I had what Paul and Barnabas had. They overflow with energy and passion and commitment. They are fueled by their faith.||God has spoken to their hearts, and they are going to tell the world. They travel here and there, telling anyone and everyone about the savior of the world, Jesus Christ.|Paul is beaten, stoned, dragged outside of Lystra and left for dead. What does he do? He gets up and goes about the business of proclaiming the good news of God's love for all of us. There is not one word of whining or blaming. No complaint that people won't listen. No indignant railing about being met with hostility and violence.|This quiet, steely persistence is awe-inspiring. Through the centuries since this first Christian mission, Paul and Barnabas continue to strengthen my spirit and exhort me to persevere.|The strength, a gift, is something I must have in the face of a hostile and violent world.|Some of Jesus' words to his disciples in today's reading from John seem almost chilling in their matter-of-fact acceptance of the reality of evil.|"I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming."|So evil rules this world. We don't need to be told. All we need to do is see the child victims of Kosovo, or Littleton, Colo., or perhaps even next door to us. These ugly spectacles frighten me. Without God's strength and love, I am in despair about them.|But Jesus says of Satan, the ruler of the world: "He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father . . . "|So I have a choice: I can tremble, fuss and moan about how awful things seem to be, and hide in a corner.|Or, like Paul and Barnabas, I can trust Jesus and follow when He says:|"Get up. Let us go."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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