Objective of the week:
To re-read all the difficult moments and how Jesus went beyond our limits, fears, etc…
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. (John 20:19) One of the things we see in the Appearances of Jesus after the Resurrection is how he went beyond the fears and the locked doors of the disciples. This experience produced in them a lot of emotions – doubts, fear, joy, etc. But in the middle of all these, his assurance of hope, of peace, of presence is very real and more powerful than the uncertainties. He went beyond all our limits to make us see that his love is far stronger than any trouble we may face in this world.
In this week let us re-read with Jesus all the difficult moments in our life and see with the help of his grace, how he went beyond all of them. His Passion, Death and Resurrection shows how he went beyond all our fears, confusions and limits in order that we can help others go beyond the challenges of this world. (2 Corinthians 1:4-5) 4 he supports us in every hardship, so that we are able to come to the support of others, in every hardship of theirs because of the encouragement that we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow into our lives; so too does the encouragement we receive through Christ.
I am with you always; yes, to the end of time
16 Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. 17 When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. 18 Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
And now, thus says Yahweh, he who created you, Jacob, who formed you, Israel: Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. 2 Should you pass through the waters, I shall be with you; or through rivers, they will not swallow you up. Should you walk through fire, you will not suffer, and the flame will not burn you. 3 For I am Yahweh, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I have given Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Since I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you, I therefore give people in exchange for you, and nations in return for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I shall bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west.
One of the greatest assurance we can have from the experience of the Resurrection is the assurance of his presence always. In all that we do and go through in life, always he is with us and has always been even up to the end of the age. Let us all live in this assurance and promise.
Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away. 23 After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind. 25 In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea, 26 and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.' 28 It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.' 29 Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, 30 but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!' 31 Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' 32 And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. 33 The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'
In those moments of our life when we take fright noticing the wind and sinking in so many of our weaknesses, Jesus went beyond them by reaching out to save us and encourage us to grow more in our faith. How strong is my faith in him? Do I believe more in Jesus than my limitations and fears?
The Lord came to save me.
6 On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. 7 Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. 'Get up!' he said, 'Hurry!' -- and the chains fell from his hands. 8 The angel then said, 'Put on your belt and sandals.' After he had done this, the angel next said, 'Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.' 9 He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. 11 It was only then that Peter came to himself. And he said, 'Now I know it is all true. The Lord really did send his angel and save me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'
In many moments of our life, Jesus went beyond our prison bars, waking us up from our hopelessness, and from our resignations. He comes always to bring us out from them in order for us to move on and continue living as his disciples. Let us recognize His saving work in a very personal way. ‘He really did save me.’
His Love goes beyond our weakness
7 Wherefore, so that I should not get above myself, I was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to batter me and prevent me from getting above myself. 8 About this, I have three times pleaded with the Lord that it might leave me; 9 but he has answered me, 'My grace is enough for you: for power is at full stretch in weakness.' It is, then, about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; 10 and that is why I am glad of weaknesses, insults, constraints, persecutions and distress for Christ's sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
6 BELOVED: Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is strong as Death, passion as relentless as Sheol. The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of Yahweh himself. 7 Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown. Were a man to offer all his family wealth to buy love, contempt is all that he would gain.
(Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
Let us pray on how Jesus went beyond our limits by showing us the power of His love. His Love for us and for all humanity moved Him to embrace our limitations in order that we can have his power and strength. How convinced am I that His love is more powerful and stronger than any limitation?
The grace of the Lord filled me
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength. By calling me into his service he has judged me trustworthy, 13 even though I used to be a blasphemer and a persecutor and contemptuous. Mercy, however, was shown me, because while I lacked faith I acted in ignorance; 14 but the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; 16 and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the leading example of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who were later to trust in him for eternal life. 17 To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen
(1 Timothy 1:12-17)
Looking at the history of my life and the ignorance I have been living, we see how Jesus went beyond our limits by showing mercy. It is a process of forming us to be leading examples for others to change from their old ways. He is forming us to be His witnesses of how true a resurrected life is.
He went beyond our limits
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. 7 But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, 8 he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. 9 And for this God raised him high, and gave him the name which is above all other names; 10 so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus 11 and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
7 During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, 8 he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; 9 when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation
We are invited to see how Jesus went beyond our limits, forming us to be His apostles and like Him, our lives, with all the limitations redeemed by God, become instruments for the salvation of many.
3rd Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 4
2nd Reading: 1 John 2:1-5
Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.