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dc.contributor.authorGillick, Larry, S.J.en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary number: 61en_US
dc.description.abstractPRE-PRAYERING | In some parts of the Church this liturgy's readings are a bridge from the celebration of the Ascension to next-Sunday's celebration of Pentecost. We are praying with the sense that we are not left alone. The readings offer us a grace of belonging to Jesus as he belongs to the Father. There is a great encouragement that even though the spirit of the world will threaten and even attempt to destroy the Church, the Holy Spirit is among and within us as Church to suffer, endure and triumph.|We pray for a "large-hearted generosity" so that whatever is asked of us as individuals or as community, our response will be more than a reaction. We pray to respond from our hearts and souls as did Stephen and his Lord, Jesus. It is not easy to be a Christian; it takes the flow of grace to transform our human reluctant natures.| REFLECTION | We have been watching and listening to the first proclaimers of the Risen Christ in the early church. The Holy Spirit was within them and they just had to speak their souls. Their message was so new and their actions so revolutionary that their hearers took offense, because it was all a challenge to their religious traditions.|Stephen is such a person of faith. He has been relating the history of God's call through their religious history As Stephen relates it; the Jewish people have always resisted God's call by resisting their "God-called" leaders. Immediately before the verses we hear in today's reading, Stephen infuriates the crowd by saying, "You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit just as your ancestors used to do." Stephen had given them their truth and they did not like it. |What we hear is their natural reaction; "kill the messenger". Stephen is encouraged by his prayer and the presence of Jesus to remain faithful. For his preaching he received a stoning death. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, relates how Stephen echoes the words of Jesus by commending his spirit into the hands of God. Luke echoes also the words of Jesus on the cross by having Stephen pray to God not to hold this stoning against his persecutors.|A witness to all this is a young man, Saul. Luke will have much more to write about him later. All we know now is that he was a witness and this witnessing will become the work of his life.|I know that this may sound irreverent, but today's Gospel is similar to a plate of spaghetti. It is beautiful as it sits there, but there are many tangled strings which, in fact, are all the same. Jesus is praying to the Father about us in the presence of his disciples at the Last Supper. He keeps saying the same thing in different words. He loves us as gifts from his Father. |Jesus has made known the person and personality of God. He has been in the process of revealing to humankind just the right amount of "divinekind" that humankind will need to believe. Jesus is "sent" to offer the invitation to believe, but his being "sent" means more than a physical arrival. Jesus was "sent" as an act of everlasting love of the "unknowable" mysterious God. The "sending" means the "loving" of God for all humankind of all ages. To believe that Jesus was "sent" means to believe in that love revealed through his life, death and resurrection. To believe in Jesus as the one who has been sent means also the belief in our being so loved as to be "sent to". |One sign of a healthy personality is the consistency of revelations of that personality. Someone who is mentally or emotionally injured might reveal him or herself by gentleness at one moment and violence the next. Now all of us are not perfect in our revelations of who we are. Jesus was perfect in his consistency of revealing the "healthy" personality of the mysterious God. Jesus was the same yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow. |Jesus made known the "name" of God which name is more than a name. He makes known all that the name is. A girl may be named April, but she is more than what the month of April is, even though she might have sunny days and raining days. A lad might have a nickname of Slugger, but be very gentle and unathletic. When Jesus made known God's name, Jesus was revealing more than words; he was revealing an infinite definition of love. A definition which does not define or confine so that this "name" will continue its being revealed, known for what it means and revealed to be believed.|So we digest slowly these strands of Jesus words. We taste their one meaning. God is love, we are loved. These are the words which Jesus speaks over his disciples. Immediately after saying these words of consecration, Jesus moves to the act of consecration on the altar of Calvary. The tangle words will all become clear and understandable as we experience the culmination of his life of love; this love which never dies. This process of our coming to believe our being loved by God through Jesus is the mission of the Holy Spirit whose coming we will celebrate next weekend.|"Father, they are your gift to me." John 17, 24en_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.subject.otherSeventh Sunday of Easteren_US
dc.titleReflection for Sunday, May 23, 2004: 7th week in Easter.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.program.unitVP for University Ministryen_US
dc.program.unitDeglman Center for Ignatian Spiritualityen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorGillick, Lawrence D., S.J.en_US 7en_US
dc.subject.local1Acts 7:55-60en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 97:1-2, 6-7, 9en_US
dc.subject.local3Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20en_US
dc.subject.local4John 17:20-26en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US Cen_US

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    Reflections written by Creighton University faculty, staff, and administrators on the daily mass readings.

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