Sunday, 26 Apr – Why Things Happen The Way They Do

26 Apr – Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia

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Acts 4:8-12

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said: ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’

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1 John 3:1-2

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.

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John 10:11-18

Jesus said:
‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep and runs away
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock,
and one shepherd.
‘The Father loves me,
because I lay down my life
in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me;
I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to lay it down,
so it is in my power to take it up again;
and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’
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 I know mine and mine know me

I am a cradle Catholic. This often suggests that I have been a Catholic for more than 30-odd years but, sadly enough, I haven’t quite been the Catholic I ought to be. Not up to now perhaps. I say ‘now’ because the Catholic I am today is not the Catholic I was just 24 hours ago. Things change and evolve almost on an hourly basis for me on this faith journey. His very presence in my life has me waking up each day refreshed from the day gone by.

That said, this was never the observation I had some 4 years ago. I was oblivious to God’s ever-present hand in my daily setting. From waking me up on time, to helping me pick out the perfect outfit, meals that come with a tinge of spiciness (just the way I like it) or the cab that arrives just as it starts to drizzle. It was often a case of me being “lucky” or the vain thought that ‘I really am that good at doing all that I do’. God had no hand in anything.

Never was it because of my good shepherd – the one who says “I know mine and mine know me”.  The truth is, I never knew Him. As such, I couldn’t identify with a Him who would move the cosmic forces around just for me. To see to my needs, to make perfect a moment, to make things happen because He knows what’s best for me even though I couldn’t for the life of me see it as such at that very moment.

But today, almost every hour, every minute and every second of the day, the Holy Spirit gives me a nudge to remind me that ‘Hey, I’m right here you know‘. It is because of this constant nudging that I am reminded that though I am a sinner, I am a child of God – a child who constantly needs Him in my life, to feed, care and look out for me just as I would with my own child. I am His child, no matter how ‘old’ I get. He knows me and I know Him – my Abba Father.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Fiona Biggs)

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Prayer:  Abba Father, may I never forget your presence in my life – your words, your touch, your care, your guidance and most of all, your love for me. Help me – a sinner, to always know that there is a You who always will love me, no matter how far I may wander off.

Thanksgiving:  Lord, I praise you and thank you for choosing me and making me worthy to be yours.

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