May 16, 2019
by Jeanne Schuler
Creighton University's Philosophy Departement
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 282

Acts 13:13-25
Psalms 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27
John 13:16-20

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

Let Me Tell You

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me.”  (John 13:20)

Like the Roman Empire, Paul’s zeal was vast.  His news was amazing. Paul set out to carry it to every corner.  Everyone must hear what transpired in those days.  The love that pierced him was not meant for a few.  Paul showed up at Jewish communities in distant towns.  After prayers the guest was asked to offer some edifying words. 

Paul’s grace and atonement came through passionate speech.  He could rouse a sleepy congregation and connect with strangers.  Taking the long view, Paul repeated a familiar story.  Their people had known slavery, the wilderness, hunger, despair, and triumph in finding a homeland.  When they were lost, God sent judges, kings, and prophets to guide them.  Never were they abandoned.

Now a surprising chapter has begun.  The messiah arrived.  Not as a conqueror, but a healer and prophet who dwelt with simple people and enraged the powerful.  He was convicted and put to death, rejected by nearly all.  But how could a criminal be the One?  They were perplexed, yet Paul persisted: he died, still he lives.  His spirit is with us.  He knows everything we have done.  Even now he tells us who we are.

Paul remained with the community a while, then moved on.  Whomever he shared a meal with learned about Jesus.

Stories arrive from many sources.  Tales are passed down by family members until no one is left to answer our questions.  From religion, history, and literature come figures that shape us: Ignatius, Terese, Eleanor, Walker, Eudora, Simone, Dorothy, Vanier, Vincent, Flannery, and Kavanaugh.  We feel the impact of another’s life, and that story stays with us.  We are less isolated than supposed.  A tribe travels with me.  No one makes this journey alone.
Jesus washed their feet a last time.  Still on his knees he said once again: remember me.  I AM.  I am the one beside you.  Should you reject me, I will remain.

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