We apologize for sending May 29's meditation ahead of schedule. Please enjoy today's and tomorrow's meditation in this email.
May 28, 2017 - We Are One Body
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are."
Introductory Prayer: Jesus Christ, true God and true man, my Creator and my Redeemer. I love you above all other things – even more than I love myself. Thank you for letting me live in communion with your divine life. I wish never to be separated from you.
Petition: Lord, help me to work for unity within your Church.
1. "I Pray for Them" - Christ desires unity for his people. He wants to share the love that has always existed between himself and his Father. To realize this goal he has come into a world broken by selfish divisions. Contrary to his Father's will, sinful men and women in this world no longer see themselves as brothers and sisters but as enemies and rivals. Christ reveals himself in their midst as the only way to the Father and the one sent to unify all peoples into the one mystery of salvation, the Church. Do I look to Christ as the source of unity between myself and others?
2. "May They Be One Just As We Are" - The "master plan" is for all people to be united in Christ, regardless of race, gender, age, nationality, social background, politics or abilities. His focus is on "inclusion" not "diversity." Diversity can break down unity if it emphasizes multiple points of difference. Even where a bond of oneness exists, a focus on diversity will often emphasize the lack of unity. Focusing on unity, on the other hand, builds up the Church by helping each person to discover his place within the Mystical Body of Christ. We are one body in Christ (Cf. Romans 12:5).
3. "Keep Them in Your Name" - No one can fully participate in this union with Christ and the Father unless he accepts the invitation to be part of the one body of the Church. For us to be included, we must enter through Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no other name under heaven by which we are saved. It would be a great mistake for us to want and to seek membership in his Church while adopting conflicting attitudes that keep us separated from the Father, Christ and our brothers and sisters. Do I know how to appreciate the varying gifts and talents of others? Do I offer my own gifts and talents at the service of the Church?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know there are many divisions in my life. I have created many of these. Help me overcome them. Help me eliminate those caused by my selfishness and pride. Help me make you the cornerstone of my life.
Resolution: This week, through my prayer and action, I will try to help mend broken bonds between people.
May 29, 2017 - Trust in Christ's Victory
Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter Father Paul Campbell, LC
The disciples said to Jesus: "Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God." Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.
Petition: Lord, give me an unwavering confidence in your victory over sin and evil in my life and in the world.
1. Jesus Knows Our Weaknesses: Jesus warns his disciples that they will all flee from him in the Garden of Gethsemane when the guards come to arrest him. He is preparing them not for their fall, but for their recovery. He never expected them to be perfect, without flaws, mistakes or shortcomings. He doesn't expect it of us either. There have been times when we have all abandoned him to follow the selfishness of sin. We sought our own pleasure, as he sought the nails of the cross and the scourging of the lash. Where am I struggling right now? Am I wavering over a compromise with sin in my life? Ask him for the strength and light to live as his faithful friend.
2. Trust in the Father's Presence: Even as the disciples left him, Jesus was not alone. His Father was with him. This essential union of love in his life with his Father was the strength that carried him forward to embrace the cross. He could be calm in the midst of the storm and endure unimaginable sufferings during his passion and death. Jesus lights the way for us in the midst of our own struggles and trials in life. It is natural for us to feel isolated from everyone when we are suffering and struggling, alone in the pain and the emptiness of our life. But God is with us; he is within us. We are never alone.
3. His Victory is My Victory: Jesus never promised his disciples an easy life. He was very clear with them that in the world they would have trouble. It is the same for us. If the world has rejected Christ, it will reject us. We can't be surprised when opposition and difficulties come our way. It is part and parcel of following Christ and shows that we are heading in the right direction. It is hard to keep fighting, fighting the enemies within and without, but Jesus is with us. We need faith to see that he has won the victory. He has overcome sin and death and he is there at the right hand of the Father.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it is hard to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems I make little progress. I have the same struggles and difficulties every day. I'm overwhelmed by the evil I see in the world, and it can be hard to see your victory in many places, in many families and homes. Give me the hope that I need to keep seeking your will in all things.
Resolution: I will pray for those who are struggling in their faith.