May 12, 2015
Tuesday, 6th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 16:22–34
Gospel: Jn 16:5–11
Jesus said to his disciples, “But now I am going to the One who sent me and none of you asks me where I am going; instead you are overcome with grief because of what I have said.
“Indeed believe me: It is better for you that I go away, because as long as I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go away, it is to send him to you, and when he comes, he will vindicate the truth in face of the world with regard to sin, to the way of righteousness, and to the Judgment.
“What has been the sin? They did not believe in me. What is the way of righteousness? I am on the way to the Father; meanwhile you will not see me. What Judgment? The Ruler of this world has himself been condemned.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
A story is told of a pastor who boarded an airplane to take the first flight he had ever flown. As they were about to take off, the flight attendant noticed his clerical garb and also his panicky look. She walked over to the pastor and said, “Sir, I’m surprised at you. You are obviously a man of faith – you should not be so nervous about flying. Don’t you have faith in God?” The cleric opened his bible, looked at her and pointed out: “Look, young lady, the promise in Scripture is, ‘LO, I am with you always to the end of time’. It doesn’t say anything about HIGH’” (Michael Hodgin).
The cleric was quoting from Jesus’ pre-departure message on Ascension Day: “Lo, I am with you always to the end of time” (Matthew 28: 20). To soften the impact of his departure he told his disciples that it was necessary for him to go so that the Holy Spirit could descend and be of help to his people. This, however, failed to console his disciples. They were too caught up with Jesus’ departure that they missed the joy of the promise of the Holy Spirit.
They also missed the excitement over that big homecoming which the angels must have anticipated with exuberant jubilation. Seen from another perspective, the Ascension of Jesus was a reunion of Son and Father. The big bang resulting from this reunion was to be so powerful as to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit upon humankind. As such it was supposed to be one big source of joy to reckon with. But the disciples just couldn’t disengage themselves from the sorrow of Jesus’ departure.
In our spiritual warfare we tend to focus on the negative too. We look at the cross as something negative (-) when in truth, the cross (+) is as positive as the sign it uses. It could look like an X when laid on one’s shoulder. But once planted on Calvary it assumes the positive sign as it stands erect pointing heavenwards.
Without an optimistic attitude, Christian life will always be negative, notwithstanding Jesus’ assurance when he said, “Lo, I am with you until the end of time”. – 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, fill us with hope so that we may look at life in the spirit of hope for the things to come, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Today is the Feast of St. Nereus and Achilleus, two valiant praetorian soldiers of the first century. They were converted to Christianity and started to live a life of prayer and penance. To devote more time for the Lord, they refused to remain in the Roman Army. For this they were exiled and eventually died of persecution during the reign of Trajan.