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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
(Part 80)

TANDEMS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

May 9, 2019

Today’s readings:
Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 66:8-20
John 6:44-51


Many good things or persons in scripture come in tandems. Like Peter and Paul, one an apostle to the Jews and another an apostle to the Gentiles. Like Jesus and Mary, one the Redeemer and the other his co-Redemptrix, a dynamic duo in spiritual warfare.

In today’s readings, we see three aspects that come together in pairs, per intent of God.

In the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, Philip “proclaimed Jesus to him” and the Ethiopian in turn “went about proclaiming the good news to all the towns” (Acts 8:35,40). Those who meet Christ and begin to live Christ should also share Christ. The evangelized need to become evangelizers. Those who receive need to give as well.

In the psalm, we read about the seemingly contradictory treatment by God of His people. God tests us and allows us to be afflicted. “You tested us, O God, tried us as silver tried by fire. You led us into a snare; …. You let captors set foot on our neck” (Ps 66:10-12a). But “then you led us to freedom.” (Ps 66:12b). God lays us low but then raises us up. God allows us to be held captives by our enemies but then liberates us. God brings us to the test but has “not allowed our feet to slip.” (Ps 66:9b).

In the gospel, we see two aspects of our acceptance of Jesus that brings eternal life. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (Jn 6:47). That is faith. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51a). This is the Eucharist. To put our faith in Jesus is to fully accept him and all his teachings, including the hard teachings of the gospel, especially the challenging teaching of eating his body and drinking his blood. To accept Jesus but reject his Real Presence in the Eucharist is a fatal error.

In the authentic Christian life, good things come with challenging things. It is refreshing to receive the good news of salvation in Jesus, but hard to share that good news with others, often accompanied by suffering, persecution and pain. It is great to be set free by Jesus, but painful when he brings us to the test. It is easy enough to put our faith in Jesus, but we are deeply challenged to live out the implications of the Eucharist­to forgive, to be peacemakers, to do mission.

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