May 1, 2010
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
“For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.’” The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region. Acts 13:47-49
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:10-13
Father, give us the faith needed to believe in your Son. Jesus, show us the works in your life that we must imitate in our life. Holy Spirit, give us the audacity to always ask the Father in prayer so He may be glorified. Amen.
Seeing is believing.
The reputation of Thomas (Didymus) takes a pretty bad rap throughout history because he was not in the Upper Room when Jesus appeared after the Resurrection. Now he goes down as Doubting Thomas. But why was Philip not branded with the same moniker?
Philip’s lack of faith prompts Jesus present us with another wrinkle in the timeless debate over faith and work. Jesus challenges Philip and us to believe (have faith) because he has told them that the Father and he are one. However, he goes on to challenge them that if such faith is not enough, he wants them to believe because of the good works he (Jesus) has been doing on his Father’s behalf.
The debate is not over faith against works. Jesus frames the debate as one in which faith precedes good works. If you have faith, then imitate Christ and do the works that he does.
Major Catholic religious traditions (like the Benedictines) were founded centuries ago and based on prayer and work. Our Cursillo tripod may have been borne out of John 14 where faith and action are merged. However, being Catholic Christians is not just about praying and studying our religious traditions.
Being a Catholic Christian also means putting into practice the works of Jesus by imitating the life of Christ. Just consider one of the prayers we say at the end of the Rosary: Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant that by meditating upon the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
We prayer that we might imitate what it contains. Each mystery of the Rosary contains an active story about the life of Jesus. Just consider a few:
He is presented by his parents.
He instructs people in the temple.
He is baptized.
He turns water into wine at the Cana wedding.
He preaches the Sermon on the Mount.
He teaches us with the servant-leader model at the Last Supper.
He is rejected.
He is tortured.
He is burdened.
He is rejected.
He is killed.
He is raised from the dead.
How can your life imitate Jesus through sharing in his pain, through doing good works, and through making life easier for others? What one part of Jesus does your life imitate the most? How can we go about the Father’s work?
If we do not act, the Lord will turn to another in our place. Then we will know how it feels to be rejected.