May 27, 2020
Acts 20: 28-30
Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Continuing the mission
Today’s readings parallel each other closely. In Acts, Paul bids farewell to the Ephesians after spending three years with them, instructing and leading the community. He affirms them for their work and commissions them to continue the mission of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. He also forewarns them of the dangers that may lay ahead and commends them to God. He reminds them of his hard work and that giving is better than receiving. They show strong emotions at his leaving, hugging and kissing him farewell.
John’s Gospel (Jn 17: 11B-19) tells us of Jesus’s prayer just before his arrest. Teaching and leading the disciples for the past three years, Jesus asks his Father to continue to protect them because Jesus is returning to the Father. He proclaims that he is one with the Father and that disciples may be one with him also. He sends the disciples into the world as the Father sent him, and prays they be protected from the Evil One as Jesus consecrates himself for them.
I wonder why the disciples sit in silence hearing of this farewell and commissioning? Perhaps silence could be a good start to this day as we pray with Jesus and his desire to be one with us as we continue his mission.
—Joe Spina is a former member of the Parish Mission Team of the Archdiocese of New York as well as working in prison ministry. He trained as an Ignatian spiritual director through the Center for Spirituality and Justice in Bronx, NY.
Heavenly Father, as you sent your Son to show us the way to you, strengthen our resolve to be more like him in all we do this day. Take away our fear and replace it with a greater knowledge that you are near protecting and leading us in all we do. May the Light of Christ illumine the darkness within and heal our unbelief. Amen.
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives. If you use an i-phone, make sure your mute switch is turned off to listen to the recording.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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