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

May 5, 2020

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

4th Tuesday of Easter Week
Acts 11: 19 – 26; Ps.87; John 10: 22 – 30

In Antioch the followers of Jesus receive a new name – “Christians”, a most fitting one. From now on they are known as men and women of the Christ, the Anointed One. The name underlines something most important and very sacred – these Christians shared in the anointing of the Christ – they participated as we do in HIs mystery and mission. Christian and Christ come from the Greek verb “xpio” which means “to anoint” and it has this connotation: a way of instituting to a dignity, a function, a privilege – I believe the word privilege should be highlighted in red. To be anointed, as we all have been, is surely a privilege of grace.

In the Gospel Jesus spells out what it means to be a Christian, what it means to participate in His very life, His anointed life. He underlines for us the grace we bear, the privilege we carry, the sacred gift He bestows on us as Christians.

The relationship existing between Christ and Christian is one of intimacy, of communion – HIs words could not be clearer. He speaks of knowing and following – a knowledge that goes to the heart and a following that flows from the heart – He speaks of the giving of eternal life which excludes any thought of perishing – eternal life is so great that it dismisses any thought, any temptation that one could be lost or come to nought in Christ.

It is the last statement of Jesus that speaks to these times of uncertainty, of living with an unseen enemy, the virus. “No one can take them out of My hand, My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and NO ONE can take them out of the Father’s hand.” Literally, really, as Christians we are in God’s merciful grasp, held in His hand with infinite love – He is truly our refuge, our support – such love, such a grasp is eternal.

We pray that these words of the Lord Jesus who speaks what He hears from the Father will be and are the source of our hope and peace. To hear His word is our privilege and to place all our trust in them is our peace at all times and especially now.