Monday, May 22, 2017

Come stay with me a while.

The past few weeks we have followed the early Church as it grew from a community in Jerusalem into one which extended to the limits of the known world.  We have watched as Paul and Barnabas were successful in some places, and yet in others, they were beaten and left for dead.   All of us have had similar experiences in our spiritual lives throughout the years.  I am lucky enough to get to go again to a silent retreat this year in St. Louis.   I think it is important for us to find something like that to get away to at least once a year, preferably two or three times.  Saint Paul had found this in the city of Philippi.   Here we find a woman named Lydia who offers them her home to recuperate in.  A place of safety, a place of rest.   Paul would speak fondly of this city many times in the future.

Jesus in the Gospel reminds us that our life is going to be much the same pattern.   There will be those who will persecute us for our faith.  If we look at the world news, especially in the Middle East with the radical Islamic State, we see that people are still to this day being killed for their faith.   Just as revealed to us in first century Palestine, Jesus prophetic statement that we would be killed by those who think they are doing God a favor is sadly still coming true today.   Even in the countries that claim to be the most modern and progressive we find a hatred for the message of Christianity and the Sacred Scriptures.   Where we can we find our haven?  Where can we find a place to recharge?  

In our homes for sure, we can find rest from the world.  That’s a good start.   However, as the book of Hebrew reminds us, “do not forsake to gather, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another all the more as you see the day drawing near.”   That’s important to remember.  The Church is our first and foremost retreat.   It is there that we find the body of Christ, both in the people and the Sacraments.  It’s there that Jesus invites us to receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.   To be recharged, refilled, and energized.  Like Lydia, Jesus constantly invites us to come to stay at His home.  It’s in those words and actions that we continually petition Christ to be with us throughout our day, our week, and our lives.  While Mass is about the worship of God first and foremost, it’s not because He needs it, it’s because He knows we do.   We don’t go to get something out of it, but we always will… because God is the only person who can fill that God-shaped hole in our hearts and make us complete.

Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14

A reflection on the readings for Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter: May 22nd, 2017

Acts 16:11-15
Psalm 149
John 15:26-16:4A