Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
May 20, 2019
Today, in Mercy, our reading from Acts shows that everything wasn’t always a bowl of cherries for the Apostles. Paul recounts that both the change-resistant Jews and Gentiles wanted to attack and stone him and Barnabas. So they left and went to Lystra where Paul cured a paralyzed man. This won them approval to the point that the populace thought they were gods!
It seems that this was a time of “feast or famine” for Paul and the other disciples. They had to stay true to their mission while learning to balance the reactions and expectations of the people to whom they preached.
They had to balance their own expectations too. Not everyone they encountered was able to receive the Word.
Our Gospel gives us an insight into how the Apostles might have felt when they met someone who was hard of heart and spirit. Jude, who has nothing but this to say in the whole Gospel, asks Jesus:
Master, then what happened
that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?
In other words, why are we blessed with faith when others are not?
Jesus’ answer is mysterious but simple:
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.
John’s phraseology, as usual, is a little roundabout but the meaning is clear – love Me and do what I have asked of you, and your heart will open to My Truth.
We love Jesus by getting to know him intimately in Scripture and tradition, in ritual and sacrament, and in the faces of our sisters and brothers. If we do this, Jesus will reveal his heart to us.
Speaking of hearts, dear friends, my precious 3-year-old grandnephew will have surgery on Tuesday morning to repair a hole in his heart. My family and I would be so grateful for your prayers for his complete healing and for the skill of those who treat him. His name is Oliver and, of course, we love him beyond words. Thank you.
Music today is an old come-all-ya, and the accompanying art is so saccharin, I know! But I still love this hymn and Daniel O’Donnell could sing me the ABCs and I’d be happy. As Ollie faces his surgery, the hymn is very comforting to me, and I hope to you in whatever needs you have.
Sweet Heart of Jesus – Daniel O’Donnell