REFLECTION FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. BEDE, THE VENERABLE/ THURSDAY OF 7TH WEEK OF EASTER.
THEME: TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL.
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali.
We celebrate today, the Optional Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable, priest, and doctor of the Church. Born in 674 in England. In his life as a Benedictine, he was considered “the most observant and happiest of all monks.” His writings were so full of sound doctrines that he was called “Venerable” while still alive. He wrote commentaries on Holy Scripture and treatises on theology and history. On the eve of Ascension in 735, he felt death and asked for Viaticum (last sacrament), and breathed last while saying softly: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit”.
As we continue the Novena to the Holy Spirit, we pray on this Seventh day for the gift of GENTLENESS. The readings of today remind us how charitable it is to pray for others. One of the privileges God has given us in Christ is to be able to pray not only for ourselves but for other people. In doing so, we gain more grace to live our lives in fullness.
Jesus gives us this example in the gospel reading of today (John 17: 20-26). “Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those who through their words will believe in me.” What actually do you ask for when you pray, and are you generous with your prayers? Jesus prayed that all may be one and be with Him to witness the glory He has with the Father before the foundation of the world. Those who have hurt or betrayed you in life, have you ever prayed for them to ask God for his mercy and blessings on them? This is following in the footsteps of Christ Who is One with the Father! I have betrayed Jesus by my sins and disobedience, and He still prays for my presence in His glory. Can I do the same for others?
St. Paul, in the first reading (Acts 22: 30; 23: 6-11), faces trial in Jerusalem. He speaks the Truth of the gospel to them – his belief in the resurrection of the dead. Though this truth brought a dispute among the Sadducees and Pharisees, it sets him free from their clutches. Truth liberates!
Dear friends, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are sons and daughters of our beloved Father in heaven. How often do we speak the truth to one another? How do you react to truth when it is spoken to you? It may convict you, but when it becomes transformative in your life, it vindicates you. So always stand by the truth.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will learn to accept the truth even when it hurts. May the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, continue to enlighten our minds and hearts to embrace Truth so that we can be set free from the bondage of sin and death. May we be generous with our prayers as Christ has been towards us. Have a freedom-full day!
@Fr Francis Onwunali
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