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May 7, 2019

Jn 6: 35-40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The Faith Life

According to C.S. Lewis, if we desire something, then that thing must exist.  We hunger and thirst, and there exists food and water to satisfy those desires.  When unsatisfied, we become starved and deprived.

Beyond these immediate desires is our deepest desire, which is our desire for God. Following the same logic, God must then also exist. And when our desire for God is satisfied, we become resurrected.  

Our deepest desire can never be met with the things that satisfy our immediate desires, as it can only be met with faith.  The faith life is simply knowing this.

Mark Chang is a Theology Teacher and the Director of the New Teacher Induction Program at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.

Prayer

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

—St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 7, 2019

Acts 7:51-8:1a

”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.

Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Let us cry out for mercy and peace

The example of Stephen in today’s first reading is at the same time unnerving and inspiring. It provokes a certain amount of anxiety within me because it shows the very real consequences of preaching the Gospel, especially in today’s world that is hostile to all religions, not just Christianity. The past few weeks have seen attacks on Christian churches, mosques, and synagogues. It also inspires hope because rather than being filled with hatred and a desire for revenge Stephen cries out, very much like Jesus on the Cross, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

St. Stephen, and many of the early Christian martyrs, did not give up in the face of violence or death. Let us pray that our response to the countless acts of senseless violence is not to back down or to be afraid to preach the Gospel, or worse, to perpetuate the cycle of hatred. But rather let us cry out, like Stephen and so many others, for mercy and peace.

Jonathan Harmon, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He is currently in theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.

Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

—St. Francis of Assisi


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May 7, 2019

Jn 6: 35-40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The Faith Life

According to C.S. Lewis, if we desire something, then that thing must exist.  We hunger and thirst, and there exists food and water to satisfy those desires.  When unsatisfied, we become starved and deprived.

Beyond these immediate desires is our deepest desire, which is our desire for God. Following the same logic, God must then also exist. And when our desire for God is satisfied, we become resurrected.  

Our deepest desire can never be met with the things that satisfy our immediate desires, as it can only be met with faith.  The faith life is simply knowing this.

Mark Chang is a Theology Teacher and the Director of the New Teacher Induction Program at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.

Prayer

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

—St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 7, 2019

Acts 7:51-8:1a

”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.”

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.

Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Let us cry out for mercy and peace

The example of Stephen in today’s first reading is at the same time unnerving and inspiring. It provokes a certain amount of anxiety within me because it shows the very real consequences of preaching the Gospel, especially in today’s world that is hostile to all religions, not just Christianity. The past few weeks have seen attacks on Christian churches, mosques, and synagogues. It also inspires hope because rather than being filled with hatred and a desire for revenge Stephen cries out, very much like Jesus on the Cross, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

St. Stephen, and many of the early Christian martyrs, did not give up in the face of violence or death. Let us pray that our response to the countless acts of senseless violence is not to back down or to be afraid to preach the Gospel, or worse, to perpetuate the cycle of hatred. But rather let us cry out, like Stephen and so many others, for mercy and peace.

Jonathan Harmon, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He is currently in theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.

Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

—St. Francis of Assisi


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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