3rd Week of Easter, Thursday

Readings: Acts 8:26–40; Psalm 66:8–9, 16–17, 20; John 6:44–51.

Today’s readings remind us that encountering and drawing closer to God is not just an exterior process, but an interior one as well. Our Lord describes the Father as calling and teaching, but at the same time, clarifies that this doesn’t involve an external and perceptible experience of him. So how does the Father communicate? In our hearts. Somewhere in our soul something moves: an insight, an intuition, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish this from feelings, which is why in spiritual theology a lot has been written about discernment of spirits. Often this interior communication goes beyond just feelings.

A response of faith to Christ is not born in a vacuum: something inside helps us to see he is worthy of our belief, worthy of our trust, and it’s not just our reasoning or our feelings. Sometimes the fact that we feel called to do something that we don’t want to do shows that whatever is behind it is not necessarily coming from us. A solid interior life means always listening for whatever God wants to tell us in the depths of our soul. The more we listen, the more we gain the ability to distinguish him speaking within us from our anxieties and preferences that at times can try to masquerade as God.

Let’s ask Our Lord today for the simplicity shown by Philip in the First Reading: the Holy Spirit told him to go to the desert route in the south that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza, and he went. And thanks to that interior generosity Our Lord used him to help someone understand what God was trying to tell him through Sacred Scripture, and to bring him to encounter Christ through faith and baptism. Let’s try being like Philip today: just tell the Lord, “I’m listening” and see where he leads you.

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