Thought for the Week

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

May 26-June 1, 2019

 

Today’s reading from John 14: 23-29 Jesus predicts two great events that were to come into his life and that of the budding Church. The apostles and disciples were rejoicing with the presence of the Risen Jesus.  Surely, he would restore the kingdom of Israel now.  He would restore the Kingdom of his Father, but it would not be the one of their imaging.  Jesus had taught them the “Our Father” for a good purpose.  He wanted them to see what the Kingdom of God should look like.  They didn’t get it.  We, too, often don’t get the words of the “Our Father.”  The Kingdom is doing God’s will and being merciful, compassionate and forgiving toward everyone and avoiding evil.  What a simple formula for peace and justice.  Next time the “Our Father” is prayed we need to pay attention to the words and not just recite it mindlessly. The two great events Jesus predicted were the Ascension and Pentecost.

 

The Book of Revelation 21: 10-14, 22-23 describes the appearance of a heavenly Jerusalem.  The most beautiful part of the vision is the presence of God.  He is the temple; he is almighty; he is so bright that no earthly light is needed to illuminate the city; he is the glorious light; he is the Lamb who is the lamp.

John uses such wonderful metaphors and symbols to give a peak at the glory of God.  “Eye has not seen; ear has not heard.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

In 2013 Pope Francis wrote a beautiful Apostolic Exhortation called “The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelii Gaudium.”  This document is also a joy to read.  Many such documents never make it into the hands of the everyday Christian. (It’s so easy, just go into the Vatican website). It challenges us to take on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World. To share just a few of the quotes:

           

The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others,

            with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with

 their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction.  True faith in the

            incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community,

            from service and from reconciliation with others.  The Son of God, by becoming flesh,

            summoned us to the revolution of tenderness. Article 88

 

            Works of love directed to one’s neighbor are the most perfect external manifestation of the

            interior grace of the Spirit…mercy is the greatest of all the virtues… Article 37

 

            The Joy of the Gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from us by anyone or anything

            (Jn 16:22). The evils of the world – and those of the Church – must not be excuses for

            diminishing our commitment and our fervor…With the eyes of faith, we can see the light

            which the Holy Spirit always radiates in the midst of darkness, never forgetting that “where

            sin increased, grace has abounded all the more.” (Rom 5:20) Article 84

 

Friday commemorates the Visitation of Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth.  Here is a young, frightened girl, who has been impregnated by the Holy Spirit with the Son of God.  This is enough for the wisest and seasoned person to grasp, but a simple, faithful and obedient girl bears this mystery.  As far as we know, she had not shared this news with anyone.  She instead took an arduous journey by foot quite a distance from her home to help her “aged” cousin Elizabeth who was with child. What a relief it must have been for Mary, when Elizabeth recognized the precious and holy gift Mary was carrying without her saying a word.  Let us pray a blessing for all pregnant women, wherever they are and in what circumstances.

 

May the Risen Savior bless you with peace and joy, (See you in August; have a blessed summer.)

Sister Rosemarie Goins