Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter
(To see a reflection for the Solemnity of Ascension Thursday, see next Sunday.)
May 25, 2017
Beloved Father: I want to allow myself to be loved by You, but I can’t do it as I’d like to. Heal my heart of everything that blocks me from receiving You in union with Jesus. I want to be a good dwelling place for Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus says, "You will lose sight of me, but soon after you'll see me again." Have you ever lost sight of Jesus? Of course, we all have. Whenever we focus on our troubles, we take our eyes off Jesus and we become blind to what he's doing to help us. Spiritual growth means improving our self-control so that we focus on Jesus no matter what's happening. The sooner we remember to do this, the sooner we see him again.
Keeping our eyes on Jesus does not mean ignoring everything else. Quite the contrary! We are to look at the world and look at others with eyes wide open, fantasizing nothing, apathetic toward nothing, in denial over nothing, but viewing it all through the eyes and the vision of Jesus Christ.
Whatever problem catches your attention today, take a minute to pray and discern how Jesus is viewing it. What's he doing to redeem it? If he's not doing it yet, what would he like to do? Whomever you encounter today, consider how Jesus sees that person. Care as he cares! When your work or ministry preoccupies you, remember that Jesus is beside you, instructing you in what to do, how to do it, and how to be a witness of his love and truth. You are never alone. He's your companion with a view of a much bigger picture, a much HUGER understanding of what's happening.
Losing sight of Jesus makes us vulnerable to sin. Then, when we get in touch with our sins and realize that we've crucified Christ by hurting others and ourselves, we truly do mourn and weep, as Jesus prophesied in this Gospel reading. But notice that he added: "You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy."
What is grieving you now? Where is your joy lacking? Why are you lacking it? How can your grief be turned into joy? Jesus knows the answer! Keep your eyes on him. Follow him.
When we deny our need for forgiveness, or when we seek it but afterward deny that we've been forgiven, we lose the joy of our salvation. Likewise, when we look to externals for our joy, we lose the gift of joy that Jesus has given us. Only by seeing Jesus as the true source of joy can we find hope and healing and lasting happiness. Only by noticing how he handled life can we develop the right attitudes about our own life. Only by observing why Jesus was glad to suffer for the sake of others can we find blessings in our own sufferings.
So go ahead and rejoice! (That means, have joy over and over again. Have you lost sight of Jesus? Look again!)
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