May 25, 2022
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293

Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
Psalm 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
John 16:12-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Judging Others? Or Ourselves?

Most of us would like the words Jesus spoke to his follows while he was yet on earth to speak directly to each of us in our lives today. And they do, but not in the specificity most of us would like to hear. Today we are reminded that Jesus could not do that because it would have been too much for all the generations since then to bear. What Jesus is telling us is that we are going to have to let the Spirit guide us as we work through our lives. Jesus left us with the Spirit to speak to each of us in our own times to show us the way and the truth of Jesus amid rapidly changing social, cultural, and global circumstances.

But do we us trust in the Spirit in the same way we declare our trust in God and in Jesus? That kind of trust requires spiritual growth on our parts. Yet Jesus is telling us in the Gospel that trusting in the Spirit is the process by which we will be guided in the discernment of how to live out our Christian faith. Here is where we often stumble. Discernment is not easy; it is a lot of work, and it requires discipline. I am so grateful for my twenty years of teaching at Creighton University where spiritual discernment is a central part of a Jesuit liberal arts education. It is based on academic knowledge of relevant issues, knowledge of the scriptures, and the formation of a heart disposed to love God, creation, and all of humanity. Students learn to listen to how God speaks truth to them. In this way, Creighton prepares students to be able to bear what the Spirit says to them so they can act confidently and competently in the world.

But not everyone can attend Creighton. With so much uncertainty in the world today, a great many people are looking for easy simple answers. And now more than ever we must find the truths of God in the complexity of this world. To gain peace in our lives, we must find the comfort and continuity of Jesus’s words revealed to us through the Spirit. That means we must trust the process that requires us to growth in wisdom and in faith toward a fuller understanding of God’s will for our lives. I pray today that we can all grow a little more each day in listening to the Spirit speak to us and in practicing discernment in our responses.

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