Daily Reflection for Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Peace and Blessing, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Acts 20:28-38
Responsorial: Psalm 68:29-36
Gospel: John 17:11b-19
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world.” John 17:15-16
Today's gospel was at first difficult for me to understand. It was harder yet to apply to my own life. But after some reading of Bible commentaries I had an epiphany. The word used for the world in today's gospel comes from the Greek word Kosmos, which better translate today as meaning worldly. So the scripture is not a rejection of God’s creation, of this earthly life. God has already revealed to us that his creation, this earth and its awesome beauty and resourcefulness, are good.
Once this was clear to me, I more fully understood that this Gospel calls me to examine in my own life what is good and of God and what is from the influence of the Evil One, the one who seeks to pull me away from my relationship with our Lord.
No one has made the influence of the Evil One more tangible to me than C.S. Lewis in his book The Screwtape Letters. I once assumed good and evil in my life were clearly discernible. But then Louis revealed to me in a creative way how deceitful, relentless, and manipulative is the character of Satan. I was particularly struck by the portrayal of Satan's ability to convince us, to convince me, that I am doing good, when in fact I may have been drawn into evil. This is a scary realization, but this delusion is a dynamic all too present in our polarized culture and world today.
Clarity about the deceptive nature of evil, of that which is worldly, leads me to more deeply understand my need for prayer and Christian community. It is through openly sitting in the presence of my Lord, sharing openly and honestly with other people of faith, through spiritual reading and spiritual direction, that I am more clearly able to discern God's will and guidance in my life. Such tools and resources have helped me to see how previously held beliefs and assumptions were too often under the influence of worldliness. Once again, thanks be to God who through Jesus the Christ has delivered us from the dark influence of the Evil One and brought us into the way, the truth and the life of our Lord.
Prayer: Lord, guide and disturb us out of worldly delusions. Show us your way, your truth and the path to life in your mercy and grace. Amen