April 29, 2009
Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church
John 6: 35-40
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present here and now as I turn to you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life and my love in return.
Petition: Lord, help me to have a deeper confidence and trust in you.
1. An Empty Hole the Size of Christ.
“It’s like I had a big hole in my heart, and I couldn’t fill it with anything.” So exclaimed someone who recently came back to the sacraments after being away for many years. She was hungering and thirsting for Christ, and, thankfully, Christ didn’t permit anything else to fill the place in her heart where only he belonged. On re-encountering Christ—in his mercy in confession, in his nourishing grace in communion—she was able to experience the benefits promised by Christ himself: “Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” Every one of us invariably finds holes in our hearts, small or not so small. Only Christ belongs there. To welcome Christ back in our hearts, we must seek out his mercy and nourishing grace.
2. Then Why Are You Afraid?
If what we need is Christ and what we truly long for is Christ, then what keeps us from going to him? Sometimes it is our pride, or spiritual laziness, or maybe superficiality in our spiritual life. But behind these reasons is often a fear that if we open ourselves to Christ, we will some how lose out. Benedict XVI addressed this fear in his first homily as Pope: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and He gives you everything. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundred-fold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ - and you will find true life. Amen” (Mass for the Inauguration of the Pontificate, April 24, 2005).
3. Can You Tell Me Where the Lost-and-Found Is?
These are words that Christ has never spoken—nor ever will. It is his Father’s will that Christ lose none of those entrusted to him. Christ never fails in his mission. Rather, in today’s reading he promises: “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” This is our guarantee that we will never be abandoned and left without his grace to support us. There will be no difficulty, obstacle, or temptation too great for him to help us overcome.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I trust in you. Despite the real struggles and obstacles in my path now, I know that you are leading me towards you. You are the only one who can fill the depths of my heart. Somehow, mysteriously, each of these trials is part of making that a reality.
Resolution: When faced with any obstacle today—even if it is small—I will say a quick prayer entrusting the situation to Christ.
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