02 Nov John 6:37-40 (“God with us”) by Jean Noon
“I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” ~ John 6:37-40 (full readings)
Jean’s Reflections: How does God change hearts? Jesus bridges the chasm between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ by His compassionate, merciful presence, ‘God With Us’ (the meaning of the word ‘Emmanuel’). In doing God’s will I not only give thanks for life but I keep my gaze fixed, – especially while I am actively working for justice – fixed on God whose spirit bears within me the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control as a witness to Christ. If I take my eyes off Jesus I risk acting or reacting with human egoic compulsion, attempting to influence with the world’s methods, or as St Paul calls it in Galatians 5, the flesh: rage, biting, devouring, enmity, hatred, discord, factions i.e., the tools of control. To share in the spirit of God is to see Jesus in my neighbor (Matt 25: 31-46) at the abortion clinic, i.e., in the prisoner who lacks freedom to choose love over abortion. How does God change hearts (Ezek 36:26)? Jesus is the key! He not only tells us but he shows us! In the Paschal Mystery Jesus witnesses to the reality of the one, true God who does not overcome evil by resisting, fighting, or attempting to annihilate evil – which heightens evil’s defensive entrenchment causing darkness to loom larger — but through absorbing evil and thereby making space for grace and spirit: bringing good news to the poor, recovery of sight to the blind, liberation to the captives, and freedom to prisoners (Lk 4: 17-19). Through the Paschal Mystery Jesus shows us that mercy, sacrifice, and vulnerability are God’s Way of leading us to freedom and repentance, of transforming evil, of bridging the chasm between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be.’ Rather than seeing himself ‘set apart’ (the meaning of the word ‘Pharisee’) Jesus spent much of his ministry witnessing to the reality of a kingdom among us where the Body of Christ is a merciful, healing presence. Kudos to the LIFE Runners in their marathon work to share the Gospel of Life.
* Jean Noon and her husband Tom have two grown sons. Jean is a spiritual director/teacher in the Arlington Diocese of Northern VA.
Faith Challenge: Throughout this week, pause, take a breath, and listen with your heart. How are your actions, thoughts, and words expressions of “loving with a pure heart”?
Counter-Culture News: LSN, LifeNews, Priests for Life, AFA, Vatican, Project Rachel.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, LIFE Runners, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now. >
Saint of the Day: Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.
Faith Quote: “May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from [God’s] glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to [God], who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” ~ Col 1:11-12
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.