GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 28TH MAY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 28TH MAY 2017
SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
FIRST READING: Acts 1:12-14
PSALM: Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
SECOND READING: 1Peter 4:13-16
GOSPEL: John 17:1-11
THEME: WAITING IN PRAYER
Time is precious and many would not want to waste it. Thus, in a world where everything is moving so fast, the word ‘wait’ has become synonymous to waste of time. We sometimes carry this secular and biased understanding of “waiting” to our spiritual lives too. For some, to wait in prayer is a thorn in the flesh. We expect the Lord to act here and now, and if He appears to “delay” we tend to look for alternative human solutions.
Just before his ascension, Jesus told his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem but to WAIT for the promise of the Father – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:4-5). In obedience to this directive, the disciples, according to our First Reading, returned from Mount Olivet – the place of the ascension – to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to wait in prayer.
A striking similarity between the First Reading and the Gospel text is that Jesus is also presented as praying. If the priestly prayer of Jesus took place within the context of the Last Supper per the narrative arrangement in the Gospel of John, then we may infer that Jesus offered this prayer in the Upper Room. So we have both master and disciples praying in the Upper Room prior to two big events – namely, the passion in the case of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the case of the disciples.
Big events must be preceded by ‘big time’ prayers. If you want something big from the Lord you must pray ‘big’. Many of us do pray in life; however, a moment comes when we need to spend time profusely in prayer. Calculating the period between the ascension of Jesus and the day of Pentecost, we can estimate nine days. During these nine days, the disciples did not pray some of the time, they prayed unceasingly – “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…”(Acts 1:14). In other words, they persevered in prayer. Prayer prepares you and gives you a big heart to receive the big grace that God has for you.
We are in the season of the Pentecost Novena and in many places, prayers are ongoing in preparation for the celebration of Pentecost. Encouraged by the life of prayer of the early Christian community, may we too keep on praying until the love of God is poured anew into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit. Fill us with the radiance of your presence as we wait upon you and renew our strength. For the sake of Christ, we pray. Amen.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).