- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

June 1, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

6th Saturday of Easter
Acts 18: 23 – 28; Ps 47; John 16; 23b – 28

On one occasion Jesus proclaimed, “The Father and I are one” and in His teaching He revealed something of this oneness. He said, “I can only do what I see the Father doing” and “I can only say what I hear the Father saying.” So in the heart and soul of the Lord, in all the actions of His life there is always a receiving and a giving.

And for those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ, for us who commit their lives to Him, then there must be this same dynamic of grace – of receiving and giving that marks the totality of our lives. In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles for this Mass, we hear of such people.

There is Apollos acknowledged as an eloquent speaker, an authority on Sacred Scripture, instructed in the Way – a man who is very aware of being a receiver and therefore, a giver.

There are Priscilla and Aquila, friends of St. Paul, leading Christians, husband and wife who know with certainty that they are receivers and in gratitude, are generous givers. When they realize that Apollos, although a believer, does not have the full picture, they give him what they have received. They give generously and Apollos, with all his own gifts, receives humbly.

As men and women who have accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who try to live this sacred commitment every day, then this receiving and giving is our way of life, a way of gratitude and faith. It is one thing to hear St. Paul’s words: “All is grace” and to hear “The gift you have received, give as a gift” – to hear them as nice slogans, or pleasant advice is to miss the import of these truths.

Behind those words is the invitation of God to accept them and the power of the Holy Spirit to live them with courage and perseverance. To embrace the invitation is to live faith as Apollos, as Priscilla and Aquila did.

Here and now in this Holy Eucharist, the dynamic of giving and receiving is presented to us in the very Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. To come forth and eat and drink this Most Holy Sacrament is a very personal way of saying I have heard You and by Your presence in my life, Lord, I will live what marked Your life – receiving and giving.