Saint for the day: John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719)
Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:
Acts 5:27-33 – Psalm 34 – John 3:31-36
“God helps those who help themselves.” NOT!
“God helps those who have no one else to help them.”
There are many Xtians who subscribe to that first statement, above, as if it were a quote from the Bible. But it’s not! Our Responsorial Psalm for today reminds us that “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” Be sure to “click” on the link for today’s saint, John Baptist de la Salle who obviously heard this scripture verse about helping the poor and founded a religious community of teaching brothers that still exists to this day in almost all corners of the world, The Brothers of the Christian Schools.
In these days between Easter and Pentecost we might tire of hearing the same themes repeated over and over. But I think that the Church does that in order that we see how necessary it is for us to renew our commitment to follow the resurrected Jesus on a daily basis. These early sections of John’s Gospel are often seen as more “theological” than “practical” and we long for the accounts of healings and miracles that come later. Everybody loves a miracle and John has a special way of presenting them. But he always gives and calls for much more than just the physical healings. We are not called to follow a miracle worker. We’re called to follow Jesus who is one with the Father and fortified by the Holy Spirit. That’s why John spends so much time weaving that tapestry that portrays Jesus as part and one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Take a moment to pray that familiar doxology, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
Again, this is a familiar part of our liturgical life and we might have a tendency to just whip it out as if we were on auto pilot. Take some time to repeat that theological statement. It might help you get a better grip on what John and the Acts are presenting us with in these days. And back this up with the Responsorial Psalm refrain, “God hears the cry of the poor” – and helps those who have no one else to help them. Amen!
Note: that odd word at the beginning of today’s reflection “xtians” is pronounced, “Christians,” and is formed with the use of “X” – for “Christ” followed by “tians.” (there’s always something new to learn from these reflections!)