Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Memorial Feast: Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1347-+1380) Patron Saint against Fire and Bodily Ills
Acts of the Apostles 13:13-25, Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27, & John 13:16-20
In today's reading from Acts, Luke shows the way Saint Paul accomplished his missionary work. Upon arriving in a new town, Paul would first go to one of the local synagogues and bring the Gospel message to the folks who, by heritage, were most entitled to it, his fellow Jews. After the Sabbath readings from the scrolls of the Law and the prophets, the leader would ask if the visitor had any message for the congregation. Did he ever!
As Luke explains regarding Paul's visit to the synagogue in the town of Antioch in Pisidia, he presented a thumb-nail summary of the history of the people of Israel. However, Paul ended with the wondrous culmination of the life, death, and resurrection of a carpenter from Nazareth—Jesus. This ending, of course, was a turn of events that no one had expected. There were plenty of expectations about a future anointed servant of God, but none that matched the kind of Messiah that Jesus turned out to be.
The words heard in today's Gospel of Saint John express an essential aspect of that surprise climax of God's victory story with Israel. What Jesus is all about is summarized in the simple and stunning gesture of the Master washing His disciples' feet.
The history of Israel culminates with the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. The consequences are evident and challenging. Our life as Christians is summarized in our acts of service, as well. Whatever we do, as parents, teachers, godparents, co-workers, neighbors, and so forth, is meant to be a way of serving. Jesus came to serve and not be served—and so should we.
Question of the Day: Will you be as "fearless" as Paul in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus?
Prayer: "Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord." Amen.