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Acts of the Apostles 9:31-42
Psalm 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
John 6:60-69
The gospel of John on this day speaks of Jesus chal-
lenging his followers. He speaks to them of eternal
life, but only of the spirit, and that it can only come
when it is granted by his Father. Many of the disci-
ples walked away from Jesus at that point, and he
was only accompanied by the original twelve. They repeated their desire
to follow him, always.
There are challenges to be seen in all of the readings on this day. In the
first reading, Peter performs the miracles of raising Aeneas from his sick
bed, where he had been for eight years. He also raises a widow named
Tabitha from the dead, to the amazement of all those surrounding her and
grieving for her. In both of these instances, Peter words his call to them in
the form of a challenge, “Aeneas, get up and make your bed.” For Tabitha,
“Tabitha, rise up.” In Psalms, the challenge is to ourselves, “How shall I
make a return to the Lord for all he has done for me?”
Aren’t we challenged enough in our day to day lives? Between the
stresses of jobs, family, finances, schoolwork, addictions, scarcity, and the
individual worries that we bring upon ourselves, shouldn’t God just give us
a hand, instead of asking for
something else
from us?
We may be missing the point. These are challenges to our physical and,
often, mental selves. But, when it comes to life’s end, it is our
will be of the greatest value to God. It is your full spirit that he wants, and
your gratitude for the ability to make that spirit loving and whole. The
challenge may be nothing more than sitting still for ten minutes and lis-
tening to your heart beat, breathing slowly, or hearing the birds in the