Daily Reflection April 12 2008: Saturday the Third Week of Easter

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Collect of the Day:

God our Father, by the waters of baptism you give new life to the faithful. May we not succumb to the influence of evil but remain true to your gift of life.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 9:31-42: The Church became established and in the presence of the Holy Spirit grew in numbers.

The Gospel: John 6:60-69: To whom shall we go? You have the words of life.

This week we have been discussing Jesus’s teaching to the Multitude after the feeding of the Five Thousand. Culminating in His teaching that he was the ‘Bread that was sent down from Heaven’. Today we read that many could not accept these teaching of Jesus:

“After hearing His doctrine, many of the followers of Jesus said “This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?'”

We discussed on Thursday that many regarded these teachings as hard sayings. In fact many of Our Lord’s teachings if judged by popular opinion seem downright foolish. Jesus tells us that we must ‘Bless those who curse us’, ‘Repay evil with good’, ‘Pray for our enemies’, ‘The first will be last’, ‘To save your life you first must lose it’ and there are many more I could quote.

These sayings definately seem to run counter culture, we have become the ‘Nike’ generation, if it feels good just do it. Everthing must be right on tap and we must have it right here right now. We have become a disposable society where everything comes with a best before date including people.

We have become a voyueristic society of instant gratification, a society where videos that degrade human dignity such the ‘Bum Fight’ series become instant best sellers rivaling the barbarism of the Gladitorial Games held by the ancient Romans. Videos of school fights, drunken orgies, photos of ex-girlfriends etc are posted on the Net minutes after just being taken.

Now the technologies that makes this possible are not the problem and in themselves are not evil, rather neutral, it is the way in which it is being used that is the problem. Jesus tells us today in the Gospel:

“It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.”

We can put this verse into very understandable terms in a way that will give us at least some of its meaning, the most important thing is the spirit in which any action is done. All human things are trivial if they exsist for nothing beyond themselves. The value of any action depends on its aim or intention. To eat for the sake of eating is just gluttony but to eat to sustain our life and to perform our duty to God and humanity, food has a real meaning and signifigance.

So we can see that the things of the flesh all gain their value from the spirit in which they are done. So for a Christian the use of technologies and other objects that are placed around them are not solely to satisfy natural desires, rather to aid them in the end for which they were created. To praise, reverence and serve the Lord Our God, for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.

Msgr. Ian+

Closing Prayer:

God our Father, by the water of baptism you have given new life to those who believe in you. Protect these new-born members of Christ, help them to resist all false beliefs, and so keep intact the grace of your blessing.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.

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