A reading the from the holy Gospel according to John 24:46-53
"Jesus said to his disciples: " Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. they did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God." The Gospel of the Lord
+Let us Pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and fill them with your Love
In this beautiful passage, as we follow the manner of Lectio Divina, listening to God's voice, I would love to draw your attention as you listen, to a few places. Remember, these are just starting points but where the Lord leads you will be the most important part of your prayer.
In this passage Jesus draws us to the primacy of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Let's "stay" here a moment. The Word says, "repentance for the forgiveness of sins." How important is a firm resolve? The act of contrition says; "I firmly resolve with the help Your grace." What does this mean and why is it so important? We must desire to change and do what it takes to change. This means that first of all, I must be truly sorry (repent), secondly, I must desire to change from my heart and thirdly, I must resolve and put a 'plan' in place, for when temptation comes again. This requires 'action' on my part, to remove what pulls me 'under' into a particular sin. I must change some things in order to move forward with Christ. The intention being; I want to draw closer to Christ. This takes honesty and courage.
Another place perhaps to pause and "stay" with the Lord, is the word "promise." This is the first time in the recent daily Gospel readings, where our Lord refers to the Holy Spirit as the "promise of my Father." Why is this important? The word 'promise' is worth pondering. Why did 'THE WORD" choose the word, 'promise'? Possibly to assure our hearts, that are weak and fearful, that there IS help coming, in order to do what we are feeling in our hearts is above us, an impossible task. The Lord is reassuring us as disciples, that help is coming and that is a promise. Jesus is also teaching us that He is true to His promises. This is something we very much need to learn, as our experience with humanity has taught us, that promises often are just words, not really kept. Jesus is teaching us who He is and therefore who the Father is and the Father is True to His promises.
A third possible place to stay and ponder is with this sentence: "Stay in the city until..." Why should we stay? In our culture so often to "stay" to remain, to wait, to be still, to 'stay put 'implies no progress, no movement 'forward', simply wasting time doesn't it? As if something better is happening somewhere else or, should be happening than what is presently happening, or 'not happening.' How often we all feel this don't we? Activity in our culture often suggests progress; "lets get something happening here', as if something isn't happening. True 'progress' is only progress when its moving us in the right direction, ie. closer to Christ. Through the media we are often 'taught' that activity points to a life filled with purpose, meaning and direction. In Truth, some of the 'greatest activity' happens in utter stillness, silence, in staying and waiting. Mary in her stillness 'stayed and listened to the WORD spoken to her, and conceived in her womb. Jesus 'stayed' on Nazareth until His "Time" came to enter public life. Here in this passage the Apostles 'stayed' and waited until what? until they were "clothed" with power! The Holy Spirit! So what do we learn about 'staying put' ? Isn't it activity then if it is directed to God? in order to receive the fullness of the gift which God our Loving Father, wants to give us? Part of God's Will? What in my life right now must I wait upon? in order to receive a 'greater portion' of God's will?
Let us Pray: Lord, open my mind and heart, fill me with Your Holy Spirit, give me the grace, the patience, and the willingness to suffer the moment in order to receive the Promise you intend to give me, I ask this in your Holy Name Jesus. Amen.