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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

1st Reading (Acts 18:1-8): Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade, stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue, attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. When they opposed him and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, «Your blood be on your heads! I am clear of responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles». So he left there and went to a house belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next to a synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:18): Alleluia. I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will not come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 16,16-20): Jesus said to his disciples, «A little while and you will see me no more; and then a little while, and you will see me». Some of the disciples wondered, «What does he mean by: ‘A little while and you will not see me, and then a little while and you will see me’? And why did He say: ‘I go to the Father’?». And they said to one another, «What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don't understand». Jesus knew that they wanted to question him; so He said to them, «You are puzzled because I told you that in a little while you will see me no more, and then a little while later you will see me. Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy».

«You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy»

Fr. Joan Pere PULIDO i Gutiérrez (Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain)

Today, we again contemplate the Word of God with the help of Evangelist John. In these final days of Easter we feel an especial uneasiness to make God's Word ours and be able to understand it. The very uneasiness shared by the first disciples. Which is profoundly expressed in Jesus' words —«A little while and you will see me no more; and then a little while, and you will see me» (Jn 16:16). These words concentrate our tension and concern about our faith and our research of God in our daily life.

We, Christians of the 21st century, feel the same urge than those of the 1st century. We also want to see Jesus, to experiment his presence amidst us, to reinforce the virtues of faith, hope and charity. This is why we feel sad if we think He is not among us, or if we may not feel and detect his presence, or hear and listen to his words. But this sadness becomes deep joy when we experiment his definite presence among us.

As His Holiness John Paul II reminded us in his last encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, this presence is concrete —specifically— in the Eucharist: «The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfillment of the promise: ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Mt 28:20) (...). The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light”. Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: ‘Their eyes were opened and they recognized him’ (Lk 24:31)».

Let us turn to God and beg for a deep faith, a constant uneasiness to quench our thirst in the Eucharist Source, while listening to and understanding God's Word; by eating and satiating our spiritual hunger with the Body of Christ. Let the Holy Spirit fill out with light our research of God.