April 16, 2015
2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 5:27–33s
Gospel: Jn 3:31–36
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “He who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and his words, too, are earthly. The One who comes from heaven speaks of the things he has seen and heard; he bears witness to this but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does receive his testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.
“The one sent by God speaks God’s words and gives the Spirit without measure. For the Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life, but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life and always faces the justice of God.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
There are truths in life of which we have no choice but accept. Consider the following lyrics of an old song: “I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows; I believe that somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows; I believe for everyone who goes astray someone will come to show the way. I believe.” The message is thought-provoking. Even if we don’t believe that for every drop of rain a flower grows, that will not change the destiny of a flower growing because of a drop of rain. If we resist these truths, we will be left out. To be at peace with life, we have to submit to these truths that life imposes.
Belief influences the way we live. How many people drink strange herbal concoctions no matter how bitter for that stubborn belief that it can take them closest to a miracle? I recall how an old relative swallowed the numbers on his birthday cake even though it was made of polystyrene. He did so at the instance of a self-proclaimed healer. He believed that by swallowing the numbers, he would obtain the winning combination for the lottery draw that week.
What about us? How far does our belief in God influence the way we act? Today’s Gospel tells us: “Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life.” Our belief in God urges us to live eternal life now. Can we risk being taken for a fool by people who find us off tangent because the eternal life we live defies earthly standards? If we find it hard to meet the risk head on, it is probably because we do not really believe.
The bad news is that even if we do not believe in eternal life, that unbelief will not change the truth that after death life goes on unlimited. Even temporal life gives us a hint about this truth. The fact that we are afraid to die demonstrates that we are meant to live forever. Temporal life itself imposes upon us spiritual truths big and small. The biggest of these is that we are heaven-bound and are better off practicing eternal life already in this lifetime. If we resist this truth, we will be left out… in the dark. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, strengthen us with your grace so that we may never waiver in faith nor give up in the observance of your commandment of love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. FRUCTUOSUS OF BRAGA belonged to a Spanish military family of the seventh century. When his parents died he followed his desire of serving God. Although he was living as a hermit in the wilderness, his holiness and enthusiasm still attracted many men and women for whom he built convents adopting the rule of St. Benedict devoted especially to scholarship and liturgical worship. To pursue his desire to live in solitude, he planned to go to Egypt. However, his king prevailed upon him; instead he became the bishop of Dumium and later the Archbishop of Braga in Portugal.