FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Saturday of Easter, April 28, 2018
WORD of the DAY
On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. (Acts 13: 44-45)
How shall I live this Word?
Once again, Paul and Barnabas speak to the Christians of Antioch. But while this multitude of believers hangs on the lips of the two missionaries, the Jews, bitten by jealousy, struggle to contradict their claims. The text notes: they did it ‘cursing’. It is a painful clash between the hardened heart of Israel and the docility of the pagans, the refusal of the children and the consent of the foreigners. As often happens in our Christian communities: those we call the ‘distant’, upon meeting Christ “rejoice, glorify the Word of God, and embrace the faith”, zealously assuming the radicality of the Gospel. We instead, who believe we are the ‘near ones’, close ourselves in our presumption of feeling we are the righteous, just like the Pharisees of the Gospel, ready to contradict and reluctant and to recognize the action of the Spirit who “works all in all” (1Cor 12:6).
This is why it is urgent to constantly revisit the heart, awakening it every day to the truth of the Word. And it is urgent to do so honestly, dilating it to the welcome hospitality of everyone, near and far, foreigners and fellow-countrymen, strangers and blood relatives. This universal embrace, full of love in solidarity, is in fact the most authentic actualization of the word of Isaiah reported by the Apostle Paul to the Jews: “Thus the Lord has ordained us: I have set you as a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth”.
Dilate my heart, O God, to universal love. Let all my resistances crumble, all my rigidity and closures that estrange me from Christ who is manifested in the face of every person.
The voice of Jacques Nouet, French Theologian
Life is given to us to seek God, death to find Him, and eternity to possess Him.
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA