On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 9, 2023 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“I get knocked down, but I get up again

You are never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You are never gonna keep me down” Song lyrics by Chumbawamba

What is the likelihood of this song written for St Paul especially after reading today’s first reading. Well NO! Of course it wasn’t, especially if you go on listening to the rest of the lyrics. But funny how many have breezed through the first reading and thought to themselves that St Paul was likely only slightly grazed and simply faked his death till his persecutors left. So after they left, he simply got up again!

Even if he had a tough constitution do we really believe St Paul was only slightly grazed? He was after all not being stoned by toddlers! These were adults literally throwing sharp stones at him. He must have bled and was badly hurt! Yes of course we would like to know how he could simply stand up and then surprisingly decide to go back to the town where the townsfolks who stoned him came from.

Here are few verses from St Paul that will perhaps bring it to light for us… “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9-10 and finally “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13

St Paul clung to the promises of Christ and refused to allow his heart to be troubled and afraid. And so he was filled with the peace of Christ! The Lord our God was dwelling in his heart, he was One with His Lord.

We have a share in the same inheritance, for we too have been purchased by the blood of Christ Jesus our Lord and are anointed children of God our Heavenly Father. Let us therefore live in the peace, love and joy of our resurrected Lord, prepared at all times to get knocked down only to get up again for His glory. Amen Alleluia!

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First reading

Acts 14:19-28 ·

They gave an account of how God had opened the door of faith to the pagans

Some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and turned the people against the apostles. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the town, thinking he was dead. The disciples came crowding round him but, as they did so, he stood up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas went off to Derbe.

    Having preached the Good News in that town and made a considerable number of disciples, they went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

    They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.

    On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans. They stayed there with the disciples for some time.

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Gospel

John 14:27-31

A peace the world cannot give is my gift to you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,

a peace the world cannot give,

this is my gift to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.

If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,

for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this now before it happens,

so that when it does happen you may believe.

I shall not talk with you any longer,

because the prince of this world is on his way.

He has no power over me,

but the world must be brought to know

that I love the Father

and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me.’

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