In today’s Gospel reading we have heard the greatest and most wonderful invitation humanity has ever received: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35). This is an invitation to come to the Lord and believe in him. Sadly, this invitation has not been accepted by many; furthermore, it is even more sad to see that many of those who have accepted it, do not take it seriously, not because they do not like the invitation but because they do not believe the invitation will satisfy their expectations.
Pope Francis provided a great insight on how we can profit from this great invitation of Jesus. In chapter four of his apostolic exhortation Gaudete et exultate (Rejoice and be glad) he says that there are five signs and spiritual attitudes that are necessary to follow when we accept Jesus’ invitation. The first sign is solid grounding in God who loves and sustains us; this inner strength from the Lord, he says, enables us to persevere amid life’s ups and downs and help us endure hostility, betrayal and failings we experience from others.
The second sign is a joyful sense of humor; Christian joy is usually accompanied by a good sense of humor. We cannot be timid, sad or dreary. The third sign is a passionate boldness to evangelize and make a difference in today’s world; this boldness has to be centered in the Gospels. The fourth sign is living in community; we are not meant to live apart from others or separated from those we love. Isolation brings temptations to our lives. And finally, the fifth sign is a constant attitude of prayer; we must have a habitual openness to the transcendent, expressed in prayer and in adoration.
I invite all of you, as well as myself, to review these five signs in our life and make the necessary adjustments and changes. We must receive Jesus’ invitation and take part on the banquet of love he displays in front of us constantly. I leave you now with a thank you message from Adam Cahill, our seminarian in residence this summer.
Peace and blessings to all!