Eastertide week 7, Acts 20,30; 23, 6-11 - Jn 17, 20-26
Isn’t this a great story? At his trial, Paul, a former pharisee, cleverly setting the cat among the pigeons and causing the Pharisees and Sadducees to squabble among themselves. We are shown that whatever situation we may face, however dire it may be, God will be able to use it for his purposes. In Rome Paul continued to spread the love of Jesus Christ and the good news that Jesus had saved us from our sins and enabled us live and work together in peace and harmony. John keeps emphasising how much Jesus and the Father loves us and that we have been given the power to do the same by sharing his love for us and for the world with all around us. Today Jesus also tells us that our understanding and relationship with him will continue to evolve, grow and continually strengthen our faith, hope and love. John then underlines that true knowledge and understanding of Jesus and the Gospel come to us through the inspiration and working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit whose presence will be renewed at Pentecost.
The Bishop’s Conference’ thought for today:
‘Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all creation.’ Pope John Paul II.
In Genesis, where we find God's first self-revelation to humanity, there is a recurring refrain: "And God saw that it was good". After creating the heavens, the sea, the earth and all it contains, God created man and woman. Here the refrain changes markedly: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). God entrusted the whole of creation to the man and woman. Adam and Eve's call to share in the unfolding of God's plan of creation brought into play those abilities and gifts which distinguish us from all other creatures. Their call also established a fixed relationship between humankind and the rest of creation. Made in the image and likeness of God, Adam and Eve were to have exercised their dominion over the earth with wisdom and love. Instead, they destroyed the existing harmony by deliberately going against the Creator's plan, and choosing to sin. This resulted not only in man's alienation from himself, in death and fratricide, but also in the earth's "rebellion" against him (cf. Gen 3:17-19; 4:12).
Loving God, Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained. Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we can be part of Creation, your gift. Be present to those in need in these difficult times, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Help us to show creative solidarity as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic. Make us courageous in embracing the changes required to seek the common good. Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent. Enable us to succeed in listening and responding to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world. We pray through Christ our Lord, under the loving gaze of Mary, Help of Christians. Amen.
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a