Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; I will raise him up on the last day.”
We hear similar words frequently in the Scripture and especially during Lent and at Easter time.
A traditional Lenten antiphon: Draw near O Lord and show us your mercy.
At the Easter Vigil: (Isaiah) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation
From the Letter of St James: Draw close to God and he will draw close to you.
And today: unless the Father who sent me draws him.
In Ephesians: You who were once far off have been brought near, have drawn near.
All these uses are different, but they share similar meanings – to come close to; to gather in, to invite, to bring together, to unite.
All of salvation history is the process of drawing near. God draws closer to us. God draws us closer to himself. God draws closer to us so that we can come closer to God. Put another way, God first draws us. God first loved us – and calls us to draw others in, to love others as we have been drawn and as we have been loved.
The embrace of the Lord reached out to include the entire human race, especially the poor, the outcast, those without hope. It was to these to whom the Lord came to raise them up, to give hope, to raise them to new life. The call to us in our day to continue the Lord’s work is strong.
Where is the Lord drawing us? To what does the Lord call us? It is something new every day. Some days the task may be simple, easy, comfortable. Some days, particularly challenging.
We look to see how God may be drawing us closer to Himself, and to a deeper knowledge of God’s love for us. To greater service of the Good News. We may need to let others point out the way to us, to allow ourselves to be led along the path of the Lord. We also may be called to be the instruments by which someone else comes closer to God – by which the Gospel is proclaimed. Draw near to us, Lord Jesus. Stay with us. Be our food on our journey to you and to the one who sent you.
Reflection by Fr. Peter Ullrich, OSB