April 14, 2016 – Thursday in the 3rd Week of Easter

Holy Spirit

Saint for the day: Blessed Peter Gonzalez (d. 1246)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Acts 8:26-40   –   Psalm 66    –    John 6:44-51

“Christ died for all, that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for him, who died for them and is risen, alleluia.” (Communion Antiphon)

Sometimes, when we hear something over and over we tend to take an attitude of “been there! Heard that already!” This often causes us to miss something that is most important to our faith experience of encountering the presence of Jesus in our lives. In these “days of Easter” we’re hearing the many aspects of the “Bread of Life” discourse. What we have to remember is the quote that I included at the top of today’s reflection. Take a moment to read it again, slowly so that the words can have a chance to become a part of your life. I think that the most important part of that quote is right at the beginning, “…that those who live may live no longer for themselves…” This is another reminder that we can never take a “Jesus and me” attitude when it comes to following Jesus. And part of the reality of this statement hinges on the “multiplication of the loves” gospel which ends with the gathering up of the fragments which refer to each one of us who have enjoyed the banquet but are still broken people in many ways. We have to believe that “God’s not finished with me, yet” and we still have to allow His grace to work its transformation in our lives. That’s why our Catholic tradition emphasizes daily reception of the Holy Eucharist so that all the broken parts of our lives can begin to be transformed. Then, after having said all that, we need to take the middle part of that quote from today’s Communion Antiphon to heart so that we “who live no longer for ourselves, but for him who died …” and who gives us the ability to share that redemption especially with the fragmented persons who are always quite near and needy of a word of encouragement and some measure of the love that has been shared with us. I’m not saying that this is always easy. This might be the reason that we have 40 days of Lent but need 50 days of Easter to finally get it right. But don’t forget that it is our celebration of Pentecost – the power of the Holy Spirit – to re-create our lives and give us the courage to go on. And so, our prayer today can already be, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created

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