Posted by: livingscripture | May 11, 2017

Fourth Thursday of Eastertide

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

May 11, 2017

FOURTH THURSDAY OF EASTERTIDE

 

 

WORD of the DAY

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, “Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing,  listen.  The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. With uplifted arm he led them out of it.     (Acts 13: 16-17)

How shall I live this Word?

Paul speaks in public for the first time.  He speaks in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, Turkey, responding to the invitation of the leaders who allowed new arrivals to speak.  The scene is very similar to the one described in the Gospels when in Nazareth, Jesus got up to speak and unrolled the scroll and read the prophesies of Isaiah…the reaction is also similar: a group is receptive and another group is enraged.

Paul’s method is that of grafting the proclamation of the kerygma, the heart of the Good News, onto the history of Israel.  He begins with the powerful revelation of God to the Patriarchs in Exodus.  He speaks of the Passover, of the passage from slavery to freedom, of being the chosen people and arriving in the promised land.  He goes through the whole history of Israel to show how Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham and the Patriarchs.  The Jews listen willingly.  There will be the enthusiastic adhesion of the pagans who during the following week will report and comment on Paul’s discourse, that will unsettle them.  What goes well for the pagans, cannot go well and be right for us Jews!  Their opposition to the Good News comes from convenience, jealousy, for the need to keep their distance from impure men.  Religion prevails over faith.  They reject it, immobilize it, and kill it.  The pagans instead, free themselves from their religiosity and fearlessly embrace the person of Jesus who fulfills their desire for life, for eternity, for holiness.

Lord, how many atheistic religions even today have the consent of people.  How hard it is to live the faith and not just religious traditions; to recognize You as the one true God of all.  Grant that religiosity may not obscure our faith journey and grant that in every community You may be the Way, the Truth, and the Life always!

The Voice of Pope Francis in his Discourse for the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

 Dear brothers and sisters, still today we can find the ardour to proclaim and propose, especially to the young, the following of Christ.  In the face of the diffused sensation of a tired faith or one reduced to merely doing our duty, our young people desire to discover the ever timely fascination of the figure of Jesus; to let themselves be questioned and provoked by His words and His gestures and finally, thanks to Him, to dream of a fully human life, glad to spend itself in love.

 

 

 

 

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