Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
We all like to have clear directions. When Paul and Barnabas were rejected by their first Jewish audiences they recalled the words of Jesus: “I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.”
This became their marching orders, and they were determined to follow those orders with all their strength and enthusiasm. We can wonder, however, if they had any idea about what this would entail. Did they realize how many times they would be rejected, ridiculed, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually forced to give their very lives? In our own times, we see people who are putting their own livelihood on the line, taking a stand, or marching for a cause of Christian values involving dignity, compassion, justice, and the well-being of the Common Good of our planet. We have to imagine that in the course of anyone’s physical, emotional, or spiritual suffering, there is always a time, perhaps often, when they must go back to the true reason for reassurance for what they’re doing.
The early apostles and disciples remembered the words of Jesus which filled them with enthusiasm. But the words of Jesus would not have been enough to carry them except for the particular truth of today’s Gospel. When Philip asked Jesus about wanting to see the Father the answer was huge for him and all of us. To believe that we see the Father when we look upon Jesus is an explosion of meaning and energy that expands our world. Try to imagine Jesus saying to Phillip, in other words, that your closeness to me is already your closeness to my Father and it is my Father who touches you through me. This powerful relationship sustained in the Holy Spirit is a total gift to every person who seeks it!
Reflection: Trusting in the divine gift within you, can you bring light to someone’s darkness?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB