Thursday, May 25, 2017

Acts 18:1-8, Psalm 98:1-4, John 16:16-20


I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice. Jn 14:18

Acts 18:1-8, Psalm 98:1-4, John 16:16-20

Acts 18:1-8

Dear Love,

We are called to preach the Good News it is the work of the Spirit to move the hearts of those who hear the Word and believe. Paul was faithful in preaching the Gospel to the Jews in their Synagogues but when he found them to be unable to move past their own hidebound prejudices, and their refusal to be open rather meeting only with hate and opposition he did what You had desire him to do from the beginning - to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. The Jews were given an opportunity to hear the Gospel but they refused to believe and so, just as You desired, the Good News was taken to the Gentiles and whole households were baptized. For the Spirit moves where He wills and the God of Love gives extravagantly to anyone who desires fervently to know Him and love Him.

Psalm 98:1-4

Dear Love,

An authentic Christian is a joyful Christian. You O Lord put glad songs in our hearts and on our lips for we have tasted Your goodness and we have experienced the joy of being loved by You and we know that God loves us so wonderfully, so graciously, so expansively that we cannot but burst with thanksgiving and praise.

How good You are dear Love, I do not deserve any of Your favors but You do not bless me because I deserve Your blessing, You bless me because You delight in doing so. Thank You for Your merciful love not only for me but for the world. Were it not so the whole world would come to an end and many would be lost forever. You do no desire the death of the sinner but You wish all to come to the knowledge of the Truth which sets us free and saves us from eternal death.  Thank You!

John 16:16-20

Dear Love,

Having lived in communion with You for three years the disciples could not bear to be separated from You, when You spoke of no longer being within sight and sound of You they grew anxious. They could not understand what You were saying, or perhaps they did not want to understand. No one likes or wants to be separated from those they love and yet in this life we all have to experience loss, pain, and heartbreak. You were preparing Your disciples because You loved them and wanted to try and ease their suffering. The subject was too painful and they hesitated in speaking about it to You but discussed among themselves. The time for Your ascension was fast approaching and the disciples could not bring themselves to contemplate this grief but You assured them that their grief would turn to joy. You assured them of the promise of the Holy Spirit and once they had received Him then they would be filled with joy for then they would begin to understand that everything was taking place according to God's perfect plan. We would now begin to live in the age of the Holy Spirit.

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