May 18, 2015
Monday, 7th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 19:1–8
Gospel: Jn 16:29–33
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that you know all things, even before we question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe! The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
“I have told you all this, so that in me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but, courage! I have overcome the world.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Too often one’s faith in his neighbor is anchored on the remarkable performances of that neighbor, not on his inherent value as a person. The same could be said of the disciples’ faith in Jesus. In today’s Gospel reading they said to Jesus, “Now we see that you know all things even before we question you; because of this we believe that you came from God”. If the reason for their belief in Jesus was Jesus’ amazing display of knowledge, then they were mere fanatics. Faith is not fanaticism but relationship.
When I was a deacon, I was assigned to serve all the Masses of the then Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. We were on our way to the Northern part of the Archdiocese one morning when a beggar took advantage of a red light and knocked on our vehicle’s window. Instead of giving something to the beggar, the Cardinal politely waived his hand. If I relied on what I saw, my conclusions would have been adverse to the Cardinal. But I have known the Cardinal to be exceedingly generous. What I saw did not in any way diminish my faith in him. Instead, the scenario became instructive of what charity should be. That day I learned that giving must be done responsibly, and red traffic lights are not the safe moments to exercise responsible giving. The Cardinal, in fact, has lots of charity works for the poor and for the beggars.
Dublin (Ireland) Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told an assembly at the Patrick MacGill Summer School in Glenties, County Donegal in 2005: “Faith is different from seeing or knowing. If what I see turns out to be an illusion, I may be disappointed… (But if I have faith) I can set out to find correctives”. The Archbishop was trying to exhort his listeners not to remain at the level of seeing and knowing. We cannot anchor our faith on what we see because of the propensity of our eyes to look for the spectacular. Jesus told the disciples who said they believed in him now that he was no longer speaking in veiled language: “The hour is coming when you will be scattered, and you will leave me alone.” True enough they all abandoned Jesus in the end. – 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, as we thank you for the gift of faith, grant us the desire to build up a strong relationship with you though our life of charity. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. JOHN I, Pope and Martyr. He was born in Italy and was elected Pope while still a deacon. He visited Emperor Justin in Constantinople as an ambassador of Theodoric, king of Italy. Note that Theodoric believed in Arianism and only tolerated Catholicism. The Emperor, on the other hand, had enacted a severe edict against the heretics. King Theodoric was suspicious that the meeting between the Pope and the Emperor was meant to hatch a plot against him. On his return, the Pope was cast into prison where he died because of ill treatment.