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Friday, May 10, 2019

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St. Damien of Molokai

Acts 9:1-20
Psalm 117:1-2
John 6:52-59

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"Jesus...appeared to you..." —Acts 9:17

The Lord Jesus has enemy-converting power. The fury of enemies cannot stand against the Lord. Saul saw Jesus, or at least the blinding flash of Jesus, the Light (Jn 9:5). This vision of Jesus remained with Saul the rest of his life. Throughout the rest of his life, Saul (later called Paul) would experience sporadic eye problems limiting his physical sight (see Gal 4:13-15; 6:11). However, his spiritual vision was a perfect 20-20; Paul never took his eyes off Jesus again. Paul came face-to-face with Jesus, and his life was forever transformed. Coming face-to-face with Jesus is fundamental to our faith. Pope St. John Paul II taught that an encounter with Jesus Christ is the key to our faith walk (Church in America, 3).

In the Eucharist, we also come face-to-face with Jesus. Holy Communion renews our being adopted into His family at our Baptism. Paul spent the rest of his life speaking of Jesus. The apostles responded in the same way when pressed about their relationship with Jesus: "Surely we cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen" (Acts 4:20). St. John wrote about Who he saw and his hands had touched (1 Jn 1:1). When we have truly encountered Jesus face-to-face, we will respond in the same manner.

Seek the face of the Lord (Ps 27:8). Allow Him to look at you with love (Mk 10:21). Let the loving gaze of Jesus heal, renew, and restore you.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to make my desires focused on Jesus alone.

Promise:  "My flesh is real food and My blood real drink. The man who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him." —Jn 6:55-56

Praise:  St. Damien's love was greater than his fear of disease and death, as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus while ministering to leper colonies in Molokai.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 28, 2018

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