7th Week of Easter, Wednesday, May 19
Acts 2028-36 / John 17:11-19
Paul recalls some words of Jesus: There's more joy in giving than in getting. "
Seven-year-old Richard was the second youngest of nine children. Three days before Christmas, his mother asked him to shine her shoes for the holidays.After Richard finished the job, he brought the shoes to his mother to see if they were all right. His mother was so delighted with his job that she gave him a quarter. Later that day, when Richard's mother put on her shoes, her toe struck a hard lump. Removing the shoe, she found a quarter wrapped in paper. Written on the paper were these words: "Here's your quarter back, Morn. I shined your shoes out of love. signed Richard."
When the constant giving of ourselves and our time begins to wear on us, how do we keep from losing the true joy of Christian giving? I he fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose." Heda Bejar
The farewell speech of Paul and the farewell prayer of Jesus are continued. Paul urged the elders of the church of Ephesus to be on their guard. It is the Holy Spirit that has placed them in charge: to bring the truth and love of God to their charges, which is precious. It has been bought with Christ's Blood, not that of the elders. The church is so precious. Their task is difficult because they have to step into the shoes Of Paul. Night and day he has laboured for three years. He kept them right, He was keen on this, that he would never be a burden. He worked hard' the church should always have enough for the poor. Jesus already told us that we shall always have them with us. The sentence he quoted is nowhere in the Gospel: There is more happiness in giving than in receiving". The scene in the harbour of Miletus is a picture in words. It is for such that Luke from the fifth century has been thought of as a painter. It is a touching scene. The elders are sad to hear that they would never see him again. The great saint, the great shepherd, is a man of heart. Holiness does not kill emotions; it makes them purer and deeper.
One of the songs used much in Church today says, “there’s joy in giving." In his farewell address, Jesus said to his apostles that he wanted to share his joy with them to the full. And Paul, speaking from his own experience, says that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving. The Lord and the apostles gave themselves to others. In how far can we do this? And what a joy it would be if we could all be one!
The disciples are in the world, not of the world. That does not mean that they are unfit for the world. Nor does this mean that the world is no concern of theirs. God loved the world, although the world did not spare him. God sends his disciples into the world just as he sent his Son.
Occasionally they have to be in the world underground. The world is the field, where they have to sow the seed of the word of God, to carry his message and to consecrate themselves. This is the language of the sacrifice. "Sacrum facere" is to make holy. Consecrate is to set apart for the exclusive service of God. Just as He sacrificed himself. The prayer is: Not to be left out, not to be spared the sacrifice, but that God may keep them true to his name. It is the humility that knows its own weakness. Judas too, was called by Jesus. He, too, was his friend. He saw the miracles after the sermon on the mount; he convinced that no man had ever spoken like Jesus. We pray that we may share his joy.
We need to be wise enough to know that Jesus is watching over the Church and that the Church teaches the truth instead of being swayed by the travesty of truth by individuals or groups who want to induce us to follow them.
We also need to be humble and docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is our Advocate and who will help us follow the truth and walk the way of Jesus.
Let us pray that we, the Church, will be always protected by our Good Shepherd and that we will listen to His voice in the Church so that He will lead us to rest in the green pastures even in the midst of the howling of the fierce wolves.
Lord, our God, your Son Jesus, gave himself totally to those he loved – that is, to all. Give us a bit of his unselfish love that we too, may learn from experience that there is more joy in giving ourselves than in receiving honours or favours. May the Spirit make us also one that we graciously share with one another our God-given riches and gifts as persons. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen