“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, May 11th Jn. 16: 5-11 “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.”
- Jesus just told the Apostles that He is going to the one who sent Him, to the Father, and they are filled with grief. The Apostles do not yet know that Jesus will remain with us in the Church, in the priesthood, in the most Holy Eucharist, in Mary as Mother of the Church and our own dear Mother, and in the very depths of our hearts where the Blessed Trinity dwells in the soul in a state of sanctifying grace.
- This is the role of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to remind them of all that Jesus told them, and lead them to all truth. We call that Pentecost!
- Our friendship with Jesus is the most important relationship in our lives – indeed the only essential relationship. Others may come and go, but if we have Jesus, we are firmly rooted in truth, in life, and in love!
- Everything in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Joy of the Gospel is contained in and flows from encounter with Jesus…
“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation, I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy…” (Pope Francis Joy of the Gospel)
- Let us look at key ways we encounter Jesus and ask ourselves some pertinent questions.
We encounter Jesus in Confession…
- “Set free from sin” doesn’t mean I’ll never sin again, rather it means as soon as I sin, I can go to confession and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness! Am I quick to confess not only mortal sins but venial sins to receive the grace to sin less? Do I have a firm purpose of amendment not to sin again? Am I serious about avoiding people, places and things that lead me into sin? Overall, am I moving away from sin?
- Am I honest about my sins? Do I ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to sins I may be blind to? Am I willfully blind to sin because there is some habit or person I’m not willing to give up?
- Do I discuss with my confessor strong or recurring temptations to gain insight and grace to resist them?
- The best preparation for Confession is being faithful to our Daily Examen Prayer!
We encounter Jesus in Holy Communion…
- Do I make a sincere effort to attend Mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion as often as possible? More than just on Sundays? By virtue of Baptism, as long as I’m in a state of grace, the Blessed Trinity dwells within me. But in Holy Communion, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity is operative. After consecration, there is no bread and wine, only the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ! When we receive Jesus, He receives us. If we truly understood this, we would never experience inner emptiness or loneliness again!
We encounter Jesus in our daily holy hour…
- Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen called this our “Hour of Power!” For it is truly Jesus who waits for us to enter into conversation with Him, to share with Him our joys and sorrows, our triumphs and struggles, even the deepest yearnings of our hearts.
- All the while He is at work in us. Hence, it doesn’t matter if our holy hour is rich with inspirations and consolations, or dry as bones with distractions, temptations and restlessness. Our holy hour is 1% what we do, and 99% what Jesus is doing within us.
- We generously spend an hour with Jesus every day, and He begins transforming us from the inside out, making our heart resemble His heart a little more each day. Making us more faithful, more patient, more merciful, more forgiving, more joyful, and more peaceful in accepting all that He permits to happen in our day and in our life!
We encounter Jesus in other people…
- This happens over time as we are faithful to our daily Holy Hour, Examen Prayer, frequent Confession and Holy Communion, and devotion to Mary, Mother of God, Mother of Jesus, and our loving Mother! We begin to see other people with the eyes and hearts of Jesus and Mary. We recognize their dignity and value conferred by the blood of Christ as reason enough for us to honor them, even if they don’t honor themselves or others. Moreover, they are part of the richness of God’s gifts to us! If we only have eyes to see what He sees!
We encounter Jesus when our sorrow turns to Joy!
- This takes an extraordinary gift of faith, hope and charity in our love of God – to know without a doubt that there is no sorrow that He will not transform into Joy beyond our imagining! We must be very patient with ourselves if we do not see this right away. We can only beg for the grace. It comes like sunshine shimmering through rain…
“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation, I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy. (Pope Francis Joy of the Gospel)