Meditation for the Day

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, May 2

Do We Close Our Minds to All That Our Faith Gives Us, or Do We Open Our Hearts and Souls and Embrace All That the Holy Spirit Teaches Us through the Church, the Bride of Christ?

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life.”

Jesus’ words which we read in today’s Gospel are very powerful and also very sobering. John is telling the people for whom He is writing this Gospel that belief in Jesus Christ is a life-and-death issue!

In other words, it is essentially a matter of eternal life versus eternal death – and it depends upon the choices we make in this life. And by virtue of the gift of free will, God has given us the freedom either to respond to His invitation or to turn away and reject it.

In our Lord’s continuing discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus is teaching him that God’s Son has come from Heaven, and that He testifies to the Truth which comes from God, and that He, Jesus, is filled with the fullness of God’s Truth when He says, “For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.”

The meaning of this is that John the Baptist and all the other prophets who preceded him were given only a part of God’s Truth to be shared with His children. Jesus, however, being of God, testifies that He, Himself, is Truth Personified! He is Truth Incarnate! And, as such, He is the fulfillment of all that was spoken about and prophesied in ages past!

And this is the Truth to which Peter and the other Apostles are testifying in our First Reading today. These same men, who once were timid and afraid but now filled with great courage, having received the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, were giving testimony to Jesus, to the Eternal Truth whom the Jewish religious and political authorities had crucified.

They proclaimed to the face of the high priest, together with the rest of the assembled Sanhedrin, “We must obey God rather than men.” And they go on to say, “We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”

These Apostles were ordinary men, just like you and me. It is believed that some of them had wives and probably family. And yet, they were called upon to do the extraordinary.

There are times in our own lives when Jesus reaches out to each of us, also asking us to do the extraordinary for the sake of His Kingdom here on Earth. We find examples of this in the lives of the saints, and also in the lives of untold numbers of faithful Christians who may never be recognized in the calendar of saints, but are nonetheless enjoying the fruits of their labors in God’s Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity.

And we find, in the words of our psalmist today, echoes of our Lord’s promise to Nicodemus, when he says, “Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him.”

How you and I respond to the gift of faith with which each of us has been blessed will determine our future, our ultimate destiny. We do not need to be experts in theology to speak about love and humble service to the needs of others. Sometimes living our faith is the best way of giving testimony – of giving witness to what we say we truly believe.

And we can take note of the words which Saint Francis of Assisi, when instructing his followers, once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” What it implies is that our actions, in giving witness to our faith, oftentimes speak loader than our words.

And our Catechism teaches us that “The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it.”

In a culture which has chosen to ignore the teachings of Christ, our Lord gives to each of us a very sober warning, “…whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

Our Lord’s warning should make each of us sit up and take notice. In our individual walks of faith, we can choose to either close our minds to all that our faith gives us, or we can choose to open our eyes, our hearts and our souls to all that the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Church, the Bride of Christ – and become witnesses to our faith.

We can choose to live selfishly, or we can choose to love SELFLESSLY. We can choose Hell or we can choose to embrace the gift of Heaven. Choosing to love, choosing to give witness, choosing to give testimony to our life of faith can become a great source of joy and satisfaction.

In the end, we know that God will reward us with the gift of eternal life for the righteous choices we make and the desire to embrace and truly live the faith with which we have been blessed.

How we respond to His invitation in this life is ultimately left up to each one of us. †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.” (John 3:34)
  • “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.” (John 3:36)
  • “Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34:20)
  • “Every one who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
  • “So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
  • “For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
  • “Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ…” (Philippians 1:27a)
  • “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

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Prayer for the Day

“Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,

which no unworthy affection may drag downwards;

Give us an unconquered heart,

which no tribulation can wear out;

Give us an upright heart,

which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.

“Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,

understanding to know You, diligence to seek You,

wisdom to find You,

and a faithfulness that may finally embrace You.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas

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