(Part 37)


April 15, 2016

Today’s readings:

Acts 9:1-20

Psalm 117:1-2

John 6:52-59

God is a God of mercy. “His mercy for us is strong” (Ps 117:2a). His mercy is so strong that, knowing we could never on our own rise above our transgressions, He sent His very own Son to suffer and die for us on the cross, and thus paid the price for our sins and win for us our salvation. So Jesus has already won for us our salvation. But many are still not experiencing that salvation in their lives, and will still not make it to heaven. And so God provides something to draw us to Himself, to strengthen us, to continue to remind us of His mercy, to teach us His ways. That is the Eucharist, and specifically holy Communion.

The Eucharist gives us life, the very life of Christ. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” (Jn 6:53). The Eucharist will help bring us to heaven, to life with God that is eternal. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (Jn 6:54). Holy Communion makes our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit, as Christ himself enters our bodies physically. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (Jn 6:56).

Now Jesus came to save everyone. And if we are saved, we need to be instruments of salvation for others. This is the work of evangelization. God calls everyone, even the greatest sinners. This is what happened to Saul. Because of Jesus’ direct intervention in his life, he moved from “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1) and trying to “bring them back to Jerusalem in chains” (Acts 9:2c) to being “a chosen instrument of (Jesus) to carry (his) name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites” (Acts 9:15). If God can powerfully use a great sinner like Saul, then He can use you.

God has been merciful to us. God desires everyone to experience His mercy. We bring God’s mercy to others as we proclaim Christ to them and help them live their lives in Christ. We are God’s mercynaries.

Let us go to the ends of the earth to proclaim Christ and the salvation that he brings. May all peoples turn to faith in Jesus, and experience the fullness of God’s mercy. “Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples!” (Ps 117:1).

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