May 9, 2018
Paul preached the Word of God to the philosophers of Athens. When the Athenians heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, Acts_17:15,22-18:1
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” Jn_16:12-15
One of the biggest contentions that people had with Paul’s preaching – came as soon as he mentioned the Resurrection of Jesus from death. They were excited to hear about this new Creator God. They were interested to hear about God’s great mercy and forgiveness of their sins. They were intrigued by God’s invisibility and yet His ever-presence and His mighty power (omnipresence and omnipotence). But when it came down to believing in a Man who proved His Divinity by rising from death, it was just too much for them to accept.
And Jesus knew precisely how hard it would be for the disciples to convince people of something they had never seen and couldn’t even imagine. So He forewarned them of their own persecution by those unbelievers.
Jesus also knew that it would be pretty difficult for the disciples themselves to maintain their own Faith with so much opposition coming at them from so many different directions. So, just as we would never throw a baby out into the middle of a river to teach her how to swim without floaties, no matter how much we tried to convince her that it would be fun; neither did Jesus throw His disciples out to the wolves without their physical strengthening through the Eucharist and without their spiritual strengthening through the Holy Spirit.
THESE are our ‘life vests’
in the river rapids of life.
Yes, we are well-familiar with the temptations of the world. Yes, we are well-familiar with the fear of rejection. And, Yes, even though we may not be Scripture Scholars, or Theologians, or Spiritual Mystics, we DO know that, just for the asking, and any time we want, we can rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us all the Peace and Patience, all the Kindness and Humility, all the Self-Control, Love and Joy that we’ll ever need, especially in those times of trial.
And we also know that we can ONLY have these virtues, these graces, these fruit of the Holy Spirit through God, through Jesus.
He is our All-in-all.
He is our Life and our Salvation.
And it is only because of Him, that can we look forward, with confidence and hope, to our own resurrection, swimming in God’s river of eternal peace and love.
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