Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Acts 3:13-15,17-19; Psalm 4:2,4,7-9; 1 John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48)
Opening Our Minds and Hearts to Jesus and the Scriptures
“He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)
We all love to have our minds stretched in new directions. There is nothing more exciting than listening to someone who can open up new horizons in our understanding. This is one way to describe how the apostles must have felt after Jesus appeared and “opened their minds to understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). But something more than human learning was going on here.
When Jesus opened the apostles’ minds, he lifted up their hearts as well. He gave them spiritual revelation about God’s plan of salvation, opening up for them the mystery of redemption in ways that their own human minds could never have grasped. And this revelation filled their hearts with love.
Because he was preparing his apostles for ministry, he wanted them to be clear. He wanted to impress upon them the fact that his gospel is about power from on high. It is not just a moral teaching or a set of intellectual propositions. He wanted them to proclaim that his gospel means letting his Holy Spirit fill them and open their minds.
And it worked! For the rest of their lives, the apostles—and Paul and so many others after them— preached this message. Even today, we can receive God’s revelation. Our minds can be opened by the same grace that opened the apostles’ minds—grace from heaven.
Today at Mass is a perfect opportunity to experience God lifting you up. When you receive the Eucharist, ask Jesus to open your heart. When you hear the readings, let the Holy Spirit fill your mind. As you kneel and pray after communion, know that Christ is in you, and that he is your hope of glory. God loves to stretch our minds, and what better way to experience it than at the table of the Lord!
“Jesus, come and give me your wisdom and your peace. Help me to seek your presence and to live for you each day. I believe that all spiritual understanding comes from you, and so I ask you to fill me now and lift me up to heaven.”
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- In today’s first reading, St. Peter talks of those who “acted out of ignorance” in putting Jesus to death. He goes on to tell them to “Repent, therefore, and be converted.” In what ways has this Lenten and Easter season opened your eyes to the truth of Jesus’ love for you and the work of his cross? How has this deepened your own ongoing conversion and your relationship with him? What steps can you take to go even deeper by turning to Christ more often during the day?
- The responsorial psalm ends with these words, “As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling.” How does this Scripture relate to your own experience? How can you make this a greater reality in your life?
- The second reading continues the theme of turning to Christ and relying on him to overcome sin. What examples do you have of Christ freeing you from sin during these holy seasons of Lent/Easter? If you can’t think of any examples, what obstacles are getting in the way?
- In the Gospel, the two disciples recounted how Jesus “was made known to them in the breaking of bread,” that is, the Eucharistic meal. What steps can you take before and at Mass to prepare yourself to receive Christ in a deeper way into your life, as you receive him in the Eucharist?
- The meditation focuses on these words of Jesus, “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” How important is it to you for Jesus to open your mind to understand the Scriptures, especially as you read and reflect on them? What part is the Lord calling you to play in this?
- Take some time now to pray to Jesus for a deeper infilling of his Holy Spirit, and that he would open your minds to better understand the Scriptures. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.