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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Reflection 2021-04-21 Wednesday Week 3 in Easter – St Anselm

Acts 8:1-8; Psalm 66; John 6:35-40
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us what the Father’s will is: that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day. It is the will of God that we have eternal life with him through Jesus. This is why he commanded his disciples to preach the good news to the world. The interesting thing is the disciples were content to stay in Jerusalem for a while until persecution pushed them out of Jerusalem and into Samaria as narrated in the First Reading: Those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. While God is not the source of persecution nor of evil, he used this evil to do what he wants.
Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. When Philip did this, he was able to perform signs to prove his message of Jesus as the Messiah. Unclean spirits came out of those possessed shrieking and the paralysed and lame were cured. The power of Jesus is seen in signs when we proclaim him as Messiah because there is power in the Name of Jesus.
The Psalm tells us: say to God, “How awesome are your deeds.” Many Catholics think evangelization is something for the clergy to do. But the truth is every Christian is called to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is Messiah. But what is evangelization, except that it is what the Psalm says, to tell of the awesome things God has done. It is really that simple. Talk about what God has done.
But how can we proclaim the things God has done unless we see them. This is why Jesus told the people in the Gospel today: you have seen me and yet you do not believe. The seeing Jesus refers to is seeing and knowing not just an exercise of the nerves of the eyes, but is to touch the heart so we can believe, and have eternal life.
St Anselm lived in 1033-1109 and was a Benedictine monk and later abbot of a monastery, a philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church. He became the Archbishop of Canterbury where he defended the rights of the Church against the English kings which resulted in him being sent to exile by these two kings. Anselm is known to have said: For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand. For I believe this: unless I believe, I will not understand. For him, faith and reason do not conflict. Reason explains faith. Which is why faith needs to be studied. Rational proof must be tested by Scripture. Seeing Jesus as the suffering Messiah who rose from the dead is reasonable because of the proofs and testimony of eye witnesses and because of the fulfillment of what the prophets foretold in Scripture.
Lord, open my eyes so I may see you as Messiah. Let me see who you are, the suffering servant who died to save me and who rose again to give me new life.

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