Monday, May 08, 2006
Tuesday 4th Week of Easter
May 9, 2006
Tuesday 4th Week of Easter - Yr II
Those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of
Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the
word to no one but Jews. There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among
them, however, who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as
well, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The news about them
reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to
go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced
and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of
heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to
Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to
Antioch. For a whole year they met with the Church and taught a large
number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was
winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of
Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are
you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us
plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The
works I do in my Father's name testify to me. But you do not believe,
because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know
them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall
never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has
given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of
the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."
The Jewish religious and political leaders questioned Jesus directly:
"Are you the Messiah? Tell us plainly." In reply Jesus points to his
miracles and says to them, "I've been working miracles in my Father's
name. These miracles testify that I am the Messiah." They testify that
Jesus is the Messiah because the Old Testament is replete with
prophecies foretelling the Messiah's marvelous works.
The Jewish leaders, however, knew these prophecies and heard about many
of Jesus' miracles. Why did they not believe in him? Jesus says, "You
do not believe because you are not of my sheep." This is a rather
strange statement. Jesus seems to be running around in circles. He's
saying they cannot believe in him because they are not of his sheep.
One could also say that they are not of his sheep because they do not
believe in him.
To believe in a person, it's necessary to come to know him, to come to
admire and trust him. If we blind ourselves beforehand to a person's
good qualities, we will never come to know, to admire, to trust him.
Faith in Jesus is, of course, a freely offered gift from God. But how
can we accept it, if we blind ourselves to his goodness, integrity and
compassion, to his wonderful human personality?
This was the problem the Jewish leaders had. They recognized that if
they were to follow Jesus' teachings and adopt his values, their
current way of life would be untenable. They were not open to accept
God's offer of faith in Jesus. They could not believe because they were
not of his sheep. We have a need to keep ourselves near to Jesus, to
open ourselves constantly to his magnificent human qualities, for once
we allow our friendship with the Lord Jesus to grow cold and fade, our
faith in him also may well fade.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Ester.
- for the speedy recovery of Aida.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Enrique Y. Castillo, Jr.
- Birthday: Christine Bernal
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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