April 1, 2008
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. Acts 4:32
"Do not be amazed that I told you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:7-8
Lord, put me where you want me to be. Send your Spirit to bring me peace and guide me to where you want me to be. Give me the outlook and mindset to do your will. Make me a channel of your faith, hope and charity. Amen.
"So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." We do not know when the Spirit will come to us nor where the Spirit will take us. Sometimes it comes to us in the very mundane and usual places. One friend was touched by the Spirit while driving down the highway listening to Christian radio. How many more of our friends have been touched during a Cursillo weekend like the one just concluded at Mount Zion?
This year during Holy Week, Beth and I had the opportunity to visit our daughter Sarah who is studying Italian in Florence this year. During the stay, we took the train to Assisi and visited the town made famous by its son Francis. As we descended the hill, marveling at the local citizens of every age who strolled the winding streets (if you can call those narrow paths streets) doing their daily chores and then marched back home while pulling shopping carts. We stopped to enjoy the churches, castles, and views from the famous hillside. After lunch, we visited the Basilica of San Chiara (St. Clare) and then went on to the bottom of the hill and the Basilica de San Francesco.
Underneath the lower-half of this Basilica is the crypt for its patron. There, he is buried amidst his four closest friends – Ruffino, Leone, Alphonso, and Maseo – in a perpetual group reunion. Now I can see why Fr. Bill Quigley said when he visited this site, he removed his shoes – this is holy ground, we're standing on holy ground. We emerged from the Basilica at 3 p.m. on Good Friday as the sky darkened, the winds swept through town and the rains began.
The peaceful spirit of St. Francis descended upon me that afternoon and has remained with me through travels and travails ever since. We do not know when the Spirit will come to us nor where the Spirit will take us. Perhaps the last person we would expect to see at the foot of the cross would be the skeptical Pharisee Nicodemus. Yet, there he was with Joseph of Aramithea, moving the body of Christ into the tomb -- moved by the Spirit since his nighttime lessons with the Lord that we read in today's Good News.
How can you witness to the Gospel message?
Is Jesus asking you to go someplace or do something that you would not have imagined before you became his friend?
Maybe He is asking you to write to your local newspaper or political leaders about issues of importance. Maybe He is asking you to participate in Liturgy in a special way? Maybe He is asking you to volunteer. Maybe he is asking you to share your property like the early Christians.
Be open to the winds that the Holy Spirit will sweep over you and be open to where they may lead you.