ACTS 13: 44 – 52
The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.”’ And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord spread throughout all the region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 98: 1, 2 – 3ab, 3cd – 4 (R.) 3cd
R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. R/.
The Lord has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful love
and his truth for the house of Israel. R/.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R/.
John 8: 31b – 32
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord. Alleluia.
“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
JOHN 14: 7 – 14
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Doing the Greatest Work on Earth
May 6, 2023
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12–14)
How is it that we are called to do greater works than the works that Jesus Himself did? Of course, it’s true. This is our calling. We know that, because this is what our Lord promised us. This truth should fill us with gratitude for being used so powerfully by God.
Among the “greater” works of which Jesus speaks is, first and foremost, the sharing of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. As Jesus walked the earth, His mission was primarily to the people of Israel. But when He ascended to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church, He also empowered all who would receive the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Thus, the conversion of hearts is the greatest work that we can cooperate with.
Do you want to do great things? Most children dream of doing so because this desire is written upon our human nature. We want to make a difference. We want to be great. But too often we become confused about true greatness. We attempt to fulfill that innate desire through acts of worldly and passing greatness. We seek recognition, wealth, and other passing rewards that stem from selfish ambitions. None of these ultimately fulfill us, even if we were to achieve them to the greatest extent. For example, imagine if you won the Nobel Peace Prize, or became the leader of a nation, or became the wealthiest person alive. Would the attainment of one of these goals fulfill you? Only if it were the will of God. If not, it would be an empty and meaningless act.
Begin by looking within. Do you see the desire within you to do great things? Hopefully you do. From there, remind yourself that the greatest thing you can do, so as to fulfill the desire within you, is to do that which is the will of God for your life. Jesus says, “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” Asking in Jesus’ name means asking for the fulfillment of His will. It means asking that God use you to bring His saving grace to others any way He chooses. If you ask our Lord for this grace, He will grant it.
This form of prayer requires humility and a complete detachment from our own will. It requires that we ask the Father only for that which the Son asks the Father for us. But the reward of such a humble prayer is that God will bestow His grace and mercy on others through us. This is His perfect will.
Reflect, today, upon this high calling. Do so by looking at the desire within your own soul for greatness and then unite that desire with God’s will as the only thing that can fulfill you. Pray for this gift every day with humility and detachment and you will become an instrument of acts that give eternal glory to God. In Heaven, this will be your eternal joy.
Providential Lord, Your will is perfect and glorious. Please help me to humble myself before You, every day, so that I will understand Your will for my life and choose it always. May I be an instrument of Your saving grace to all whom You wish to touch through me. Jesus, I trust in You.