MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER MAY 6, 2019
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
REFLECTION: "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you."
Clayton greeted the team with a big smile. He hugged all present and was very happy that it was a beautiful day. He is 6'5" and had squeezed his size 18 feet into his size 16 shoes. His sneakers were open toed!! After sharing breakfast and accepting a bagful of food, he asked if he could pray with us. He began with praise and worship and before long the tears were streaming down his face. He began singing "Viva el Señor". He frequently worships at the local Spanish Baptist Church.
Spending a day with the homeless immerses you in a world that is hard to comprehend. But yet we cannot escape the homeless for they are everywhere. In the tent city under the Pierce elevated one finds the young, old, bewildered, high on drugs, inebriated, hopeless, lost, mentally ill, people with walkers, and estranged men and women from Michigan, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. Many ask to pray for their families or their mothers whom they have not seen for years and some for their addictions to come to an end. The homeless share their stories but many do not.
Jesus has asked us to work for Him. St John of the Cross said, " Love is repaid with love alone." And St Ignatius of Loyola said that "Love is shown in deeds more than in words." In many scripture readings after the resurrection, we have noted that Christ was not first recognized by people who knew Him. It most likely was because His glorified, resurrected Body was so different from His human body. But do we recognize Jesus in other people? When Jesus calls us to 'seek the good that endures for eternal life', do we seek out those in misery and the forsaken?
St John Vianney, patron saint of priests, said that the first temptation the devil presents to someone who has begun to serve God better is Human Respect. Many times we pray fervently for those we love, but there are so many people out there who need our prayers as well. Each one deserves respect, each one deserves to hear about God.
Are we indifferent to the plight of others? Are we lukewarm? Is our faith asleep? Do we try to imitate Jesus by always doing good? When obstacles present, do we lose interest? Do we give up when others take what we have to give but do not go the way we show them?
May our priests inspire us to win souls for God by showing others the love of Christ. Let us challenge ourselves to give hugs, bring happiness and joy to all souls so that the love of Christ may overflow.