Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Fulfilled Without Fear

When Jesus had washed the disciples´ feet, he said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

Introductory Prayer: Love is in your powerful name, Lord. We come and bow down before you who have made us, set us free, and rescued us from death. I offer you this time of prayer, of atonement. Come, Lord, so that I may receive you.

Petition: Lord, open my heart and grant me the grace and strength to desire holiness.

1. Fears
The Church is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The apostles experienced fear, mistrust, depression and failure. In spite of all this, Christ did not rebuke them. He simply questioned them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). Jesus’ kind words are also appropriate for our fears today. How can we, the chosen children, truly be fulfilled if we have fears within us? No evil can stand the face of Christ. Fears are a true hindrance to receiving fully the One that God sent. We cannot see the future, but God can. Why fear what God, who is love, has in store for us?

2. Offering Yourself
The first step to receiving is offering ourselves to the Father. We do this by laying our wills and our very lives before the cross, knowing that God will do what is best for us. If we trust him and are not afraid of his calling, he will do what is best. We must be sure of this, though; there can be no fear, no doubt. We must profess this to Christ, saying that he is powerful enough to do everything and that nothing is impossible through him. It is then that we can truly receive. We must leave all our attachments with the One who was sent – after all he was sent so that we may walk without fear, so that we may be set free. Accepting the will of God, without fear, brings us true joy and true happiness.

3. Understanding Greatness
We must take Jesus’ joy wherever we walk; he has bestowed that gift upon us. We have truly been blessed, and blessings will continue to pour from his everlasting flow of love. There will be times, though, that we do not understand why bad things happen, why troubles possess us, why we are here. This is when we need to offer up a prayer, seeking to understand greatness, seeking to understand love and seeking to understand others. It is with this understanding that we can truly appreciate the divine plan, that we can truly receive the greatness that God has in store for us, because then we will love, and love conquers. Greatness lies in the cross. It is the richest gift from heaven, the gift of life.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I know in every place your shadow blankets me; in every high and low place you are there. I can see your light. You have chosen to hold on to me, Lord. You have chosen me to receive your spirit. How grateful I am for that! I look at your crucifix, Lord, and see your blood that you so willingly gave for me, the crown of thorns that you so graciously wore for me, and the cross that you humbly carried for me. How am I worthy, Lord? Thank you for washing me clean, filling my soul with living water and being the shelter where I can hide. Help me, Lord, always to receive you, to cast out my fears and doubts, to offer myself to you and to understand your greatness. Thank you, Jesus.

Resolution: Today, I will do everything possible to avoid the near occasions of sin.

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