Daily Mass Reflections - 4/30
“It is the docile who achieve the most impossible things in this world.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
In today’s Reading (Acts 14:5-18) we encounter Paul and Barnabas as they flee for their lives from Iconium to the cities of Lystra and Derbe.
It is here that they heal a man who was crippled from birth, prompting the locals to mistake them for the gods of Greek Mythology, thus causing an exasperated Paul to exclaim “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God.” He then goes on to speak about the heretofore unheard of notion of eternal salvation for the Gentiles, a radical departure from that which they had been previously taught. Couple that with Paul’s terrible (pre-conversion reputation and you can see why this encounter didn’t really garner the results they had hoped for.
The Gospel (John 14:21-26) finds Jesus foreshadowing the coming of the Holy Spirit, and as we stand at the threshold of Pentecost Sunday, you can expect to hear more about the Holy Spirit in the daily readings as the week unfolds, what with Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven a mere 10 days away.
As we reflect upon this Gospel, it becomes more and more evident that we the followers of Jesus must develop a “spirit of docility,” a “teachable spirit” as we journey towards our heavenly home. It’s in surrendering to God’s will and hearing the Good Shepherd’s voice amidst all the other toxic voices in our fallen word that we do this. As noted Christian Author Andrena Sawyer once said, “The ultimate act of surrender to God is rebellion against lies: the lies that the enemy has spoken to you, and the lies that you might have told yourself about you.” Through the proper blend of wisdom, knowledge and understanding comes the precious gift of discernment. It is needed today, perhaps now more than ever. Discernment allows us to move beyond mere Christian attributes and experiences to a life of complete and total abandonment to Jesus Christ.
For when we exhaust our human-based problem-solving designs, God always emerges and always shows us the way forward.