Sunday 13 April 2014

5th Sunday of Easter Year A

What is more important to our spiritual growth? Action? Prayer? Some of us may think that we need to do something for our spiritual growth. We get involved with all sorts of activities, we do charity here and there, we get into different aspects of church life. Over time, we become more and more preoccupied with doing things. We begin to think that our spiritual growth is tied to the amount of things we are capable of doing, as well as the number of activities we are involved or have been involved in.

However, is action more important or the only thing that matters? Would we be branded as useless or hopeless if we do not get involved so much? In our busyness and running around doing things, we become less and less hardworking in our prayer life. We neglect our conversations with God and begin to find it more and more challenging keeping still. After all, we are so used to activities, things going on around us, that we may have failed to listen to the promptings of God within us.

St. Peter in the second reading reminds us that we are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light." Here, we are reminded to give praise to God through our words and actions. In the first reading, seven deacons were appointed to help in the distribution of goods so that the apostles "can continue to devote themselves to prayer and to the service of the word." When we look at these readings, we can begin to realise that we need to look carefully at our prayer life. Our actions must flow from our prayers and praying helps us to remain focused on God. Prayer reminds us that we are doing God's work and not our own. Prayer reminds us that ultimately, God is in control.

Jesus tells his disciples at the beginning of today's gospel: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me." When we trust in God and in Jesus, we begin to realise that we cannot do everything. We realise that we are not superman or superwoman, and there are certain things and certain situations which we need to let God take care. When we pray, we are not saying that we are incompetent or incapable, but we are aware of our limitations and we trust that God, who is limitless, will do what is best for us and for the situation.

Today, let us increase our efforts in prayer and reflection. Let us let God be God and trust in Him, knowing that He will take care of things. Let us listen to His voice, and let Him take control. Let us remember that we can never do it alone, as all things are possible only with God.

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