“The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” 

O God, who in the celebration of Easter
graciously give to the world
the healing of heavenly remedies,
show benevolence to your Church,
that our present observance
may benefit us for eternal life.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Reading

 

Daily Meditation: 

The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. Acts 13

Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father. John 14

It must have been overwhelming when Jesus told his disciples
that when they were seeing him, they were seeing the Father,
that the Father is in him and that he is in the Father.

But it must have been a whole further amazement when he told them
that if we put our faith in him, we will do even greater works than he did.

Today, in our Resurrection faith, we can ask for the grace to put our faith in Jesus
and to be open to how we can love and serve others in the healing way Jesus did.
And we can reflect on who we are being called to love, as Jesus loves.

If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples. John 14

Intercessions: 

Christ has made known to us the life that lasts for ever. With faith and joy let us cry out to him, saying:
Lord, may your resurrection bring us the riches of your grace.

Eternal shepherd, look on your flock as it rises from sleep, 
- feed us with the word of life and the bread from heaven.

Keep us safe from wolf and hireling, 
- and make us faithful in listening to your voice.

You are present to all who preach your Gospel, and give power to their words, 
- make us today preachers of your resurrection by our holiness of life.

Be our great joy that no one can take from us, 
- so that we may reject sin with its sadness, and reach out to eternal life. 

Closing Prayer: 

Jesus, I feel as if I am rising from sleep sometimes.
Then I feel you offer me saving power,
and a healing with your words of life.
You want me to ask for anything in your name:
Please, be the light in any darkness I face.

There are times that I, like your disciples,
do not recognize you.
I beg you to give me the grace to put my faith in you
so you can send me to your people
where I can share my great joy in you.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

 
 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Our readings today bring us reminders of what a Christian life looks like in daily life.

Our first reading from Acts recounts the events of Paul and Barnabas’ efforts to share the “word of the Lord” with the Jews and Gentiles.  The two encountered setbacks and received resistance from the Jews and positive feedback from the Gentiles.  Even though the Jews essentially kick them out of the area, we are told, “the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” 

What?!  Did I read that right? They were joyful, despite these big setbacks, these failed attempts at evangelization?!  I admit I had to reread the passage a few times and reflect on this contradiction.  It is hard enough for us to accept suffering, let alone rejoice amidst rejection and persecution.  And yet, isn’t that the dynamic of being a Christian, of experiencing the joys, challenges and struggles of living the Paschal Mystery, of following the crucified and resurrected Christ?  God doesn’t promise us smooth, easy and comforting pathways, right?  I sure do find myself wishing and hoping for an easier or smoother pathway at times, I admit.  The lasting joy is really in that profound lesson that we often suffer for living a Christian life and proclaiming the message of life and love in our words and actions.  Paul and Barnabas remind us that suffering is not easy and that it’s not the end of the story, the final note.  Through suffering and death, we come to new life, abundant life in Christ.  And, Paul and Barnabas teach us that when our words and actions for Christ are met with resistance, heartache or violence, we are to respond with the Gospel message of peace, hope and joy.  These are all parts of the Christian life!

In our Gospel reading from John today, we are reminded that knowing God, through Jesus, is an invitation of ours.  God is not a distant being, but one who is accessible and invites us to an intimate relationship, through his son.  Isn’t it evident when a person knows God and knows Jesus intimately?  They exude a sort of depth, peace, and compassion that one who lacks that intimacy doesn’t demonstrate.  Knowing God, knowing Jesus, or knowing anyone, really, doesn’t mean there’s simply an intellectual understanding, but also a deep, personal experience of the presence of the person. 

I believe it’s a little bit like how I know my daughter, who is two and a half years old.  I can honestly say that I know her well from spending time with her, listening to her, interacting with her, learning how she operates, etc.  As her mother, I know when something’s not right; I know with pretty good accuracy her preferences, too.  And, that is not the same as knowing, on an intellectual level, the developmental milestones of a toddler from reading parenting books and articles. 

God and Jesus want that same intimacy for us – to know them well and deeply, such as through heartfelt conversation and prayer, receiving the sacraments, by listening.  Let us accept that invitation for intimacy, each day, with more depth and enthusiasm.  That will strengthen our resolve to be joyful and filled with the Spirit despite the persecution and hardships of daily life in our Christian faith.

by Roland Coelho, S.J.
Creighton University's Graduate School
click here for photo and information about the writer


Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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