Reflection for Saturday, May 5, 2018: 5th Week in Easter.

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Tucci, Candice
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Since Easter we have been following the development of the early Church and the naming of "Christians". The apostles are on the move. Peter and Paul are proclaiming Jesus, the "Way" and sending disciples throughout their known world. They are in prisons and people are dying. We connect once again with our own spiritual and faith history as Jesus prepares those who follow him into the future through his final discourse in John's Gospel. We have our call to discipleship, his instruction, and his fidelity.|Jesus speaks of a world of hate. Hate is a word and emotion contrary to his message while at the same time his message is to confront it and to change hearts with love. I would say that not belonging to this world is belonging to one's interior world where we discern, make choices, and develop a consciousness with faith as our compass. It is the world where we walk and talk with Jesus. Perhaps we meet him in our prayer, in dreams and imagination to give us direction and consolation.|Hate is a strong emotion that destroys life. Perhaps hate is expressed because of the fears we find in our world today in various aspects of society. It is one of the challenges for Christian Discipleship to face daily. In the Gospels, so often, Jesus implores us not to be afraid. If we follow Jesus, we will face fears and confront hate with love. Then too, there may be consequences. Out of a resurrection hope we have courage within us to take risks in being on the move with Jesus. It is faith, hope and love driving us forward.|Regarding discipleship, Richard M. Gula, S.S., in his book, The Good Life, writes "the hope of Jesus is not grounded in a guarantee but in a risk.  Jesus took a risk on having his life filled with the mystery of God. This hope allowed him to live as though his life were not in vain. Jesus took a risk on life filled with divine love, and he took a risk on a God of surprises. We celebrate his surprise as EASTER!"|While living in Rome, Italy, a few years ago, I entered a small church down a narrow street where there was inscribed on a wall of the church names of the martyrs from the early days of the first century Christian community. Hundreds of them! Multitudes! Some names were familiar from scripture. I stood there in awe as tears filled up in my eyes. I was deeply affected by the faith of these people who took risks and laid a foundation of faith for me. It was a strong sense of being connected as a member of the Body of Christ. I was profoundly saddened by their lives sacrificed. Over centuries we have lived on in this love with the challenges that are met through the grace of our baptism and the blood of the martyrs. It continues to be so today.|The apostles and disciples are on the move! For us, too, we are on the move! We move through an interior landscape that forms us and gives direction to our movement in living our lives.  We travel a spiritual journey in faith with a community of faith, past, present and future. These days after Easter are about our faith, living it with conviction, taking risks and being called to discipleship.|Our interior journey provides us the strength to live in our world by doing our part in witnessing to the Reign of God and securing it for our day and times to come.  We have choices as how to live in right relationship with all of creation which includes humankind and care for our planet, Earth.|What has been your experience of discipleship? Our call to discipleship, through the grace of our baptism, demands us to live as Gospel women and men to do our part in the time we have with courage knowing that Love, Jesus, the Christ, will lead us, and is with us, always.|"The Lord is good:|His kindness endures forever,|And his faithfulness to all generations."|Alleluia!                                         – Psalm 100
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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