In the Gospel for Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Jesus speaks lovingly to his disciples. “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14). We are Jesus friends too. Jesus asks us to love God and others as he has loved us. He wants us to generously give of ourselves as he has done. He wants us to heal the sick, visit the lonely, forgive the injurer, befriend the stranger, and give of our lives in countless other ways. In what ways are you a friend of Jesus?
In the Gospel for Friday of the Third Week of Easter, Jesus tells his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood. “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me” (John 6: 57). God shares God’s life with Jesus. Jesus shares God’s life with us. The Eucharist, Christ’s Body and Blood, sustains our life in God. How does the Eucharist keep you alive in God’s love?
In the Reading for Thursday of the Third Week of Easter, Philip baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch. God initiates the mission. “The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, ‘Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route’ ” (Acts 8:26). Jesus wants his disciples to do God’s will. We do God’s work, not our own. What mission does God have for your today?
In the Gospel for Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Jesus promises eternal life. ” ‘For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [her] on the last day’ ” (John 6: 40). When my mother died, I doubted my belief in life after death. As the grief healed, I began to feel her loving presence more and more. I realized she was still alive in Christ. I believe Jesus. Risen from the dead, he offers us eternal life. I hope to see my mother again. How does Christ’s promise of eternal life give you hope?
In the Gospel for Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, the crowd asks Jesus for a sign. They want something like the manna in the desert. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst’ ” (John 6: 35). Jesus satisfies our hearts’ desires. In Christ, our hearts rest in God’s love. Satisfied by Christ’s love, Christians give of themselves to satisfy others. When has God’s love inspired you to satisfy the physical or spiritual hungers of another?
In the Reading for Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Stephen meets opposition from the authorities. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he draws their attention. “Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6: 8). Christians today are filled with the grace and wonder of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Christ, they work wonders everyday. God is present whenever something is done out of love. Making dinner, greeting a neighbor, forgiving an injury, caring for the sick, all can be wonders of God’s love. What loving things do you do by the power and grace of God?
In the Gospel for the Memorial of St. Athanasius, Jesus feeds the five thousand. “When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat” (John 6: 12-13). The miracle illustrates God’s overwhelming generosity. There were even leftovers! So Jesus’ concern about waste has a deeper meaning. He does not want his disciples to waste any time or energy on worry, anxiety, security, and more. God provides so abundantly and generously. How can God help you waste less time and energy on things that do not really matter?
In the Gospel for Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, Jesus tells the disciples that God keeps his promises. “He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy” (John 3: 32-33). Jesus keeps God’s promises. God wants a loving relationship with us. If we love Jesus, we love God and God us. Sometimes we doubt God keeps promises. Jesus reassures us God does. What kind of trust do you have in God?