thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
In the passage from Acts, Paul offers a “farewell” address to Christian leaders. He reminds them that he has lived and preached the faith among them. Compelled by the Spirit, he must now go to Jerusalem, knowing that hardship awaits him there. Paul has given witness with words and deeds, but now another kind of witness emerges – Paul’s life follows the pattern of the Lord’s own ministry. Jesus had “set His face” towards Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) knowing that He would experience rejection and terrible suffering. In the passage from John today, we hear from Jesus’ prayer for His disciples on the night before His passion. The “hour has come,” but Jesus does not hesitate. He is concerned more for the disciples than for Himself. His suffering will reveal the glory of God as it will accomplish the work of redemption – the plan alluded to by Paul in the first reading.
Paul is not the only character whose life follows the pattern of Jesus’ own. Paul himself had been present (as Saul) when Stephen prayed for his persecutors “forgive them for they know not what they do.” Peter and John performed miracles of healing “in the Name of the Lord Jesus” that mirrored miracles from Jesus’ own ministry.
The Spirit empowers us as disciples to proclaim the Word and to live in a manner that gives witness. Some among us, noted for their holiness of life go further as the shape and pattern of their lives begin to give witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And that kind of witness is not limited to the Apostolic age. Today we celebrate St. Philip Neri who lived in an age when serious Christian life was often relegated to monastic settings. Philip made the choice to walk with people along the “way” in just the way that Jesus had formed His disciples. Philip’s simple, generous, and authentic living of the gospel among ordinary people brought about a remarkable revival of faith by words, deeds, and a life patterned on that of the Lord.