Posted by: livingscripture | May 30, 2017

Seventh Tuesday of Eastertide

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

May 30, 2017

SEVENTH TUESDAY OF EASTERTIDE

 

 

WORD of the DAY 

But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.   Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace.   “But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again.  And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,  for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God… When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all.  They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,  for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.     (Acts 20 : 22-27/36-38)

How shall I live this Word?

The passage we reflect on today from the Acts of the Apostles is rich in pathos and emotion where we feel the pulsations of the great heart of Paul and the moving farewell from the church of Ephesus.  He gives a rapid summary of his life among the Christians of Ephesus and turns his gaze to the future, dense with painful events.  The passage reaches its emotional height in the final farewell, that becomes a choral weeping and a sorrowful embrace in the awareness they will never see him again.  They all knelt and prayed;  then they kissed him and embraced him with much love.  It is a moving and stupendous scene of the life, vividly portrayed, of the pulsing vitality and the deep fraternity of the primitive community evangelized by the great Apostle to the Gentiles.

This page invites us to think about the end of our days.  If we pay close attention, life is a continual farewell until the last one.  Therefore, it is good for us to make a  kind of general examination of conscience to see at what point we find ourselves before God and before our sisters and brothers.

Am I ready for the final farewell that brings me face to face with God?  Dear Lord, I entrust my existence to You, from beginning to end, my whole history! 

The Voice of Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes 18

In the face of death, the enigma of the human condition becomes supreme.  Human beings are afflicted not only by the thought of suffering and the dissolution of the body, but also and even more, by the fear that all ends forever.  However, the heart’s instinct makes a right judgment when it abhors and rejects the idea of total ruin and of the definitive annihilation of the person.  The seed of eternity it carries in itself, which cannot be reduced to only matter, rises up against death.  All the attempts of technology, however useful, cannot ease this human anxiety.  The prolongation of biological longevity cannot satisfy the heart’s desire, which is invincible, for an ulterior life.

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