“IT IS I. DO NOT BE AFRAID.” JN 6:16-21
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith. Acts 6:1-7
Today, we see proof that the Apostles laid their hands on others to spread the word of God. The number of Jews who were following Christ and believing in His resurrection “in Jerusalem increased greatly”. Apostolic Succession is the belief in our Catholic faith that we have a direct line from Pope Francis to Peter. The word of God has been protected through these Apostles.
It is impossible for Pope Francis to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to 1.2 billion Catholics. By the time we all paid for flights to Rome, went to Mass for however long it would take to offer the Eucharist to all these people, then fly to come home would be foolish. Plus, it would be very expensive to buy all of the hosts.
So, as we see in the early Church the Apostles chose men, laid their hands on them, and made adjustments for the early converts to the faith that began our wonderful Church. It also shows that their was a “daily distribution”, a tithe to the Church from the beginning.
Our parish priests are an extension of our bishop and the bishop is an extension of Pope Francis to us. Take care of our parish priests, we would not be able to reach heaven without their dedication to God and providing us with miracles on the altar, at Baptism, in the confessional, anointing us when we are sick or about to pass from this life to the next, standing as a witness to us in our marriage vows, sharing with the bishop sealing us with the Holy Spirit at confirmation, and laying on of hands with the bishop when priests are newly ordained. They give up their life to be Christ for us. God’s grace works through them. Thank you men who give up your lives and sacrifice for Christ and us!
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading. JN 6:16-21
We are living in the Resurrection today. Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father waiting to return. He stays with us in the Eucharist and ”where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there with you” (prayer). Each time you enter a Church, an Adoration chapel, or in prayer repeat the words Jesus tells His Apostles, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” If we can enter a Church, Adoration chapel, and prayer recognizing that Jesus is truly present, it is the greatest gift and joy we will ever receive. Why would you want to leave? Where are you going that is more important? If we don’t feel this way at Mass, in a Church, or Adoration, maybe we have made our life bigger than God.
If we recognize God is bigger than us in our life and the center, the source of our existence, the One who became Man to dwell with us and never leave us, we will approach Him completely different and never want to leave Him. He calls us together to the Eucharistic feast so we may be spiritually nourished and then sends us forth into the world to be His hands and feet and serve others. Talk to Jesus each day about your joy, sufferings, and things you are thankful for. Since Jesus resurrected and a human body entered the heavenly realm, this changes everything. We should have a different perspective of this life and the way we live it. God has made something greater for us. Prepare yourself so you don’t miss it!
Today’s challenge: Thank a priest for all they do physically and spiritually. Talk to Jesus like you text a friend every day everywhere. It will bring calm, peace, and joy. It will take away your doubts and help you focus on the most important things as you prepare to enter heaven some day.
Be a servant, become a saint!
No Bible no breakfast, No Bible no bed! -Fr. Larry Richards