Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Thursday 7th Week of Easter
Thursday 7th Week of Easter
[Memorial, St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr]
Acts 22: 30; 23: 6-11 / Ps 16: 1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 / Jn 17: 20-26
Reading: Acts 22:30, 23:6-11
The next day the commander wanted to know for certain the charges the Jews were making against Paul. So he released him from prison and called together the High Priest and the whole Council; and they brought Paul down and made him stand before them. Paul knew that part of the Council were Sadducees and others Pharisees; so he spoke out in the Council, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, son of a Pharisee. It is for the hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial here." At these words, an argument broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the whole assembly was divided. For the Sadducees claim that there is neither resurrection, nor angels nor spirits, while the Pharisees acknowledge all these things. Then the shouting grew louder, and some teachers of the Law of the Pharisee party protested, "We find nothing wrong with this man. Maybe a spirit or an angel has spoken to him." With this the argument became so violent that the commander feared that Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He therefore ordered the soldiers to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him back to the fortress. That night the Lord stood by Paul and said, "Courage! As you have borne witness to me here in Jerusalem, so must you do in Rome."
Gospel: John 17: 20-26
I pray not only for these but also for those who through their word will believe in me. May they all be one as you Father are in me and I am in you. May they be one in us; so the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the Glory you have given me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. Thus they shall reach perfection in unity and the world shall know that you have sent me and that I have loved them just as you loved me. Father, since you have given them to me, I want them to be with me where I am and see the Glory you gave me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known you but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. As I revealed your Name to them, so will I continue to reveal it, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I also may be in them."
Humans are indeed a contentious, argumentative lot!
In today's reading, as Paul stood on trial for his faith, the Pharisees steadfastly accepted the resurrection, spirits and angels as truths, while the Sadducees on the other hand completely denied these.
Such is the nature of man's free will. We have the liberty of thinking, analyzing, and deciding for ourselves on what is true and what is false. Yes, oftentimes, imperfect as we are, we are confused and we do make mistakes. It must be realized, however, that whether we eventually arrive at the correct conclusions or not, it is in fact less important than how we respond to the consequences of our decisions. Ultimately, our reactions define who we are and what we want to be.
Thus, how truly blessed we are as Christians! Amid the doubt, insecurities and ambiguity in life, we possess the certainty that God loves us and is with us always. Even as Paul knew this and proceeded to Rome to preach God's word with full conviction, John the Evangelist, in today's gospel, deeply understood that he loves God, that he had God's complete love, and that this pure love be shared with everyone. Even in mysterious circumstances, there is an intimate knowledge that can only be understood in love. And this intimacy builds the bonds that unify us. This is the unity that Jesus came to offer us, oneness with him and the Father brought about by the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray that with our Lord's most precious gifts of faith and love, we shall have the courage and wisdom to make the right choices and take responsibility for these.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... 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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