May 8, 2019
by Candice Tucci, O.S.F.
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 275

Acts 8:1B-8
Psalms 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A
John 6:35-40

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Prayers by and for Mothers

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

“And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.” (John 6)

What did Jesus get from God he intimately called “Father” or “Abba”? I’m thinking….. pondering……YES! His humanity. Plus, God gave him ALL of humanity! God, gave Jesus, who is the WORD, through whom all was created, a human existence/experience, and everything that accompanies it including all of creation.  God willed the WORD to be a human named JESUS. He had a human body to be bread for the world and living water.  Hence, he nurtured, taught, nourished, healed, prayed, created relationships, restored dignity to the poor, the alienated, women, children, and strangers. He challenged the leadership of his faith and the government.  Truly he is for us to know through praying with the Gospels as a way of life! Jesus is GIFT!

Jesus modeled for us the way, so we too, “should not lose anything of what God has given us,” but that we, also, will be raised on the last day! In fact, we were all given to Jesus, and we will rise with him as he promised. “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.”

Jesus told us that he is “the bread of life; and whoever comes to him will never hunger, and whoever believes in him will never thirst.” (John 6) Following the resurrection of Jesus, many people of the early church believed this. As we see in the first reading, the power of the risen Christ’s presence through Philip and other disciples’ witness, people were no longer paralyzed. Many were healed of afflictions of body and soul. Many paid the ultimate price of such belief and witness as Stephen did with his life.

They followed the WAY of JESUS in healing, teaching, praying, restoring dignity to the poor, the alienated, and so forth. Do I find healing in Jesus? In the places I feel paralyzed, do I ask for freedom? In the struggles within my heart, do I find consolation?  Through prayer, discernment and relationships can I say yes to these questions?  I believe Jesus always desires a relationship and is faithful in providing life and wholeness of body, mind and spirit. 

While visiting Rome, Italy, I entered a small church and found inscribed on the wall hundreds of names of people who died during the persecutions following the death and resurrection of Jesus. I was overwhelmed at the number, but, more so, that these were real people with familiar names of people from scripture. My heart ached, and I cried.

During the Easter Vigil we celebrated the sacraments of Baptism, and Confirmation. Those baptized were immersed in the waters of Baptism as a sign and symbol of dying and rising with Christ.  They were anointed not to just follow the Gospel teachings of Jesus, but also to be the living embodied Gospel of Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship wrote, “it is only because Jesus became like us that we can become like him.”

Let us also remember Jesus challenged the leaders of faith and government which led him to the cross. Do I, or we, dare to speak out to help heal a broken government, church or world? At what cost? Again, Bonhoeffer tells us we need to ask for the grace for such witness. He called it “costly graces.”  “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a (person) must knock.”  

Not too long ago I celebrated one of those decade birthdays! I’m feeling deep gratitude to God who gifted me life in Christ. God who gave me a human experience.  I’m thinking how all of us make up the mystical Body of Christ in communion with the saints, martyrs, and people who have gone before us. This body will one day rise again whole and glorious in Christ on the last day. Here is a profound spiritual union of Jesus, the Christ, with all of creation. It is an awesome, inseparable loving oneness that can comfort and give us hope. “…this is the will of the one who sent me, but that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.” (John 6)

Alleluia! Is great joy personally experienced in the Easter event of Jesus?

Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!
Sing praise to the glory of his name…Psalm 66

May we have faith and hope in what God has freely given us in Christ Jesus.

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