Saint for the day: Magdalen of Canossa (March 1, 1774 – April 10, 1835)
Acts 4:32-37 – Psalm 93 – John 3:7b-15
“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.”
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.
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 with us being 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!