Monday, April 22, 2013
No One Can Take You from My Hand
April 23, 2013
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
By Beth DeCristofaro
When (Barnabas) arrived (in Antioch) and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. (Acts 11:23-24)
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30)
Come Holy Spirit and Fill my Heart. Kindle in me, despite threat and temptations, the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit that I might be created anew in love with Christ. Grant that with the blaze of your Spirit I might be a small part in your renewal of the earth. Instruct my heart, o God. Give me the light of the spirit that I might find wisdom and rest ever in your hand. In your name, Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.
(Based on “Come Holy Spirit")
Have you ever experienced the solidity that comes with having a friend who has your back? In grade school and into high school, Tece, was smarter and braver than I was but she was my friend and I could confide in her with utmost confidence that she would never gossip or turn on me. In college, when I was certain that I was in over my head, Paul listened to me voice my academic worries and my dismay with the dating scene. He was the brother with a strong back. And I have been blessed with a husband who is a true friend and confident as well as several other sisters whose mutual trust sharing our deepest hopes, concerns and issues ground me and raise me up when the daily grind threatens to pulverize me.
My dear grade school friend moved away in high school. Paul and I graduated and went on to our separate lives. However in Jesus there is no separation. He remains and offers that one choose life if one wishes to actually live not just exist. This was the choice Jesus offered to the leaders of the Synagogue. It is the choice offered to me and to you.
Last Sunday, I attended Closing for the Men’s 126th Weekend. My heart was stirred with this community which chooses to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart. Like the community in Antioch, according to the promise of Jesus, those who choose to follow him will never be taken out of the hand of God. The continued grace I receive by committing to be a follower of Jesus, buoyed up and recalled to action through Cursillo, become vitally important in my Fourth Day when violence and hatred seem to rule in the world.
In what ways do I not hear, do I not listen, to my Shepherd’s voice because I prefer my own counsel? Meditate on Jesus’ words in the Gospel and remove the plugs from our ears and the plank from our eyes. Give thanks to the Shepherd who is holds us night and day because of His love for us. Say a prayer of thanks for true friends.