April 23, 2021
by Tom Shanahan, S.J.
Creighton University's Athletic Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 277

Acts 9:1-20
Psalm 117:1bc, 2
John 6:52-59

Celebrating Easter


Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

The weeks after Easter help us to consider deeply the meaning of the Paschal mystery, and particularly what it means for us that Jesus crucified and risen continues to live on in us through his resurrection.  Jesus is alive and well!  He appears to his disciples.  He talks with them, he eats with them, and he continues to form the disciples in his ways.  What was that like for the disciples?  That is the very question that we ask ourselves, the contemporary disciples of Jesus the Christ.

In other words, we are the inheritors of the disciples’ experience of the fact and wonder of Jesus’ resurrection.  We are invited not just to know Christ, but to experience Christ. Christian Faith and life is so much more than a study of who Jesus is, where he lived,  how he influenced others through his living and preaching the way to God.   Experiencing the Christ is on a way different level than simply knowing about Jesus.  How do we receive the wonders of who God is and how God transforms us all?

A passage from St. John of the Cross I read recently focuses on what happens to us as we experience God’s love for us.

When you looked at me
your eyes imprinted your grace in me;
for this you loved me ardently;
and thus my eyes deserved
to adore what they beheld in you. . . .
Let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty.

John of the Cross emphasizes that the entire project of our daily prayer starts with God’s initiative toward us.  God invites us to receive his gift of prayer and to let that gift suffuse our lives.  We are imprinted with grace by God looking at us with ardent love.

That look of love changes us in the depths of our being so that we go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty.  As we pray to God (Father, Son or Holy Spirit), the grace of God’s presence helps us to change and grow because of the love and beauty of God.

Lord God, we converse you with grateful hearts.  You bless us constantly by your presence in us.  Thanks for watching us with love.  Help us to make real in the struggling world we inhabit the love that you imprint in us and guide our way to You in  the beauty of your love and grace.

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