In the First Reading from Acts Jesus tells Paul not to be afraid to speak and that Jesus is with him. Jesus promises us more in the verses from John’s Gospel. Our grief and mourning will be turned to joy; that Jesus will return; that the Father will give us what we ask. 

We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will return. Our faith is based on the hope of his return and our joining him in heaven. Does this mean we wait without joy and must live with unanswered prayers? Not at all. Our joy comes when we trust in God’s will for us and lean on him to show us the way, as Paul does in Acts. 

Our joy, to be steadfast, must be rooted in Christ. St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us that we need to detach from the things which keep us from God. Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo, in his beautiful Surrender Novena, encourages us to surrender our worries, our worldly concerns, and our struggles to Jesus. 

When we reach the point where we no longer question Jesus about anything, when we have detached and surrendered, we will have true joy. I pray often for the grace to detach and surrender. Those two words offer us both comfort and consternation. It is in the giving up of ourselves that has us pause, asking “what if” over and over. We know that greater things await when we surrender, but in our humanity we are afraid. Paul is an imposing example of a man who changed his life for Christ. He approached living for him in a radical and total commitment of detachment and surrender. And then he found joy!

Whatever you are being asked to detach and surrender today, pray for the grace to do as well as Paul did so that you find the joy that comes from loving Christ fully.

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Daily Reading


Saint of the Day


Saint Norbert

Saint Norbert founded the order with the most difficult name to pronounce and spell—Praemonstratensians. Perhaps that’s why they go by the name of Norbertines. But this order was anything but hard to appreciate when it comes to the work they did. They were very effective in converting heretics and reconciling enemies.