Thursday, April 16 ~ Second Week in the Season of Easter
Holy Gospel: John 3:31-36 The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Meditation: God’s truth has consequences and he gives us the freedom to choose how we will respond. The choice he gives us has eternal consequences – everlasting life or everlasting death. God challenged his people in the Old Covenant: “See I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. …I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). And he issues the same challenge to the people of the New Covenant today. Do you weigh the consequences of your choices? Do they lead you towards life or towards death? If you choose to obey God’s voice and to do his will, then you will know and experience that life which comes from God himself. If you choose to follow your own way apart from God and his will, then you choose for death – a spiritual death which poisons and then kills the soul until there is nothing left but an empty person devoid of love, truth, goodness, purity, peace, and joy. Do your choices lead you towards God or away from God?
Prayer: O God, who for the salvation of the world brought about the paschal sacrifice, be favorable to the supplications of your people, so that Christ our High Priest, interceding on our behalf, may by his likeness to ourselves bring us reconciliation, and by his equality with you free us from our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you hunger for the true life which God offers through the gift of his Holy Spirit? The Jews understood that God gave a certain portion of his Spirit to his prophets. When Elijah was about to depart for heaven, his servant Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit (2 Kings 2:9). Jesus tells his disciples that they can believe the words he speaks because God the Father has poured his Spirit on him in full measure, without keeping anything back. The function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal God’s truth to us. When we receive the Holy Spirit he enables us to recognize and understand God’s truth. Jesus is the Word of God and he gives us his Holy Spirit so that we can recognize his truth and live according to it.