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Monday in the 5th week of Easter
Saint for the day: St. Rose Venerini (1656-1728)
Jesus says, “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you”
The Holy Spirit is the creative presence of God in the entire universe. It brought order out of chaos and “renews the face of the earth.” In the Old Testament God’s presence was observed in “theophany” – the thunder and lightening and quaking of the earth. Yet, as Elijah found out: God was not in all these phenomena but, rather in the still, quite breeze.”
I’ve already said that God is clever and could reveal Himself in any way He wanted. In the same way, Jesus could have shown Himself in some spectacular ways – floating above us in a fiery cloud. But He didn’t want us to come to Him only because of the “spectacular” but to come to Him because He loved us.
Paul and Barnabas have to run away from the crowd that wanted to treat them as God’s. In today’s Gospel Jesus puts everything on “love:” We follow Jesus because He first loved us. Not because of anything else. When we are led by the Spirit – that gift of God’s love – the broken parts of our lives are gradually brought together and we continue our journey to the Kingdom almost unaware that it is God’s love in us that brings about healings and renewal to those around us. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God – and His righteousness – and all these things will be added unto you.”
If we start out looking for the spectacular we will most assuredly – like Lucifer – fall in our own pride.
In the Gospel account of the miraculous feeding of the multitude it was Jesus’ love and concern for the people that brought about a miracle – not any kind of ‘razzle-dazzle.’ Who was it who said, “Love God … and do what you want?” Love seems to be the key to all of our efforts to know Jesus and to follow Him as here-and-now disciples. Jesus kind of paraphrases the words of the Lord’s Prayer when he says, “Whoever loves Me will keep my word and my Father will love him…” It’s this love, present in us, that heals and restores all that it touches. “love!” so simple that we often overlook it. Amen!
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