Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

May 4, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Acts 1:12-14
Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
1 Peter 4:13-16
John 17:1-11a

A reflection on today's Scripture:

What a wonderful whirlwind visit we had from Pope Benedict XVI just a couple of weeks ago!

He brought us the message that Christ is indeed our hope, and reminded us that America's unique success as a democratic republic is based on the truth of the natural law and the truth of nature's God.

God's truths are the bedrock for freedom, justice, and responsible striving for the common good, that all in our nation and abroad may sit in dignity at God's table of plenty. And, as he spoke wise words of advice to bishops, priests and religious, educators, seminarians and youth, he helped heal the hurts of those scarred by sexual abuse by the clergy. He urged us to respect and love one another, and to work together in unity. His gentle presence and obvious care for America left us with a degree of nostalgia as we recall his ascent into the air at Kennedy Airport.

It occurred to me while thinking about this Sunday's readings, that the apostles experienced a similar nostalgia nearly two thousand years ago. Just when they were getting used to their amazing glimpses of the Risen Christ, appearing here and there so dramatically, He suddenly ascended into the air before their eyes, and was lost to sight in the clouds. They must have thought in dismay, "He's left us again!" So what did they do? They withdrew together to pray and to ponder what He had taught them. Wisely, they invoked the intercession of Mary in those nine days of waiting for the Holy Spirit.

They must have remembered what Jesus had said to them: "If you really love me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father." In other words, "I have a better way to remain with you. I will live in you and in the Church through my Spirit and in my Vicar." And did they remember that wonderful farewell address in that same upper room just a few weeks before at that strange, sacred meal the night before He died? Did they now understand the reason for his institution of the Eucharist, that He might remain with them always?

On this Seventh Sunday, just as did the apostles, we too reflect on this new amazing life in the Spirit that will become a reality on Pentecost. It's a good idea that we spend some time reflecting on the words of Christ's vicar—that he spoke to us during his recent visit. When we think ourselves alone and abandoned, when the contrary spirit of the world depresses us, Christ is there! When we are tempted to give up, to feel far from God, Christ is there through the Spirit!

What Christ really wants of us modern-day followers, is concrete, lasting action, a living out of His Truth. We must go simply and deliberately into our souls daily—into the cores of our being—and there listen to Him in silence. Then, strengthened by His grace, we can confidently go about our Mission. We need that grace more than ever in these days of rebuilding our nation and our world. Pope Benedict XVI has given us a wonderful blueprint for hope!

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
email: pwhitmore29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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