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

June 8, 2019

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

7th Saturday of Easter Time
Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31; John 21: 20-25

It is interesting to reflect upon Paul’s hearing, especially in light of the tedious and endless congressional hearings we have been subjected to recently. Throughout the appeal, Paul did not try to accuse the nation of Israel of wrongdoing. He merely sought to clear himself. As a disciple of the Word Incarnate and messenger of the Good News, Paul sought to center his defense on what was of common concern for all of mankind, God’s salvific will. The bearers of the Good News have to be prepared to be rejected, even persecuted. The words that come from his or her mouth will be totally irrelevant in the face of a society that has lost touch with its spiritual dimension.

Human beings were made in the image and likeness of God. Their hearts were made to be the dwelling place of God. As long as individuals ignore their God-given nature and purpose, they will continue to go through life restlessly and aimlessly. The Psalmist had it right: “Only in God does my soul find its rest” (Ps. 62:1). Vatican Two expanded upon this phrase by saying it is only in Christ that man comes to know himself. God reveals the truth about himself and also the truth about us. In Christ, all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (CF. Col. 2:9). Christ is the mirror that shows us what we really are.

Through Water and the Holy Spirit, we have been conformed to the person of Christ. When we surrender to the will of the Father He promises to pitch His tent among us. By His grace God supports us. By His provident care, He protects us. He is our Rock and our Salvation. Trusting in God is the anchor of our souls. Recall these words taken from the Letter to the Romans: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). As long as God is for us, and we abide in his love, we can boldly confront and resist the powers of darkness. There, in the embrace of the Father’s love, we come to know ourselves as beloved sons and daughters in the Son. We need to find ourselves near to the Heart of God because there alone will we find the fullness of joy.

As did the disciples in the Upper Room, we gather today in prayerful expectation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our hope is founded on Christ’s own words: “If two of you on earth agree concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you” (Mat. 18:19). Wherever and whenever we gather in the name of Christ, we have His word that he would be present in the midst of us. The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way but to go with us providing us with all the gifts and talents we need to carry out our given tasks.

For us to be led into the truth demands more than memorizing words and definitions. For us to be led into the truth demands more than to have some vague notion of it. For us to be led into the truth by the Holy Spirit demands that we ponder it in our hearts and demonstrate its power in our lives. Let us pray: Keep us faithful to your Word which begins in you and comes to us through the preaching of the Apostles.  Help us to receive the joy that you desire us to experience in the Risen Christ. Use us to bring that joy to your people as they seek you. Grant that we may love you always and then do with us what you will.