We read the writings of St. Paul often. Can you imagine what it must have been like to hear him speak? I conjure up images of Paul as a passionate orator, able to convince people that he was speaking the truth. In today’s first reading from Acts 13, we see one of Paul’s great speeches, this one at the synagogue in Antioch. Remember, Saul was a Pharisee, and a respected one at that. I imagine his words carried much weight, as they do even today.
In the Gospel reading from John 13, Jesus is in the upper room for the Passover feast. He has just finished washing the feet of the disciples. And He says to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” To reiterate, when we receive the one that Jesus sent, we receive Jesus. And when we receive Jesus, we receive the Father.
This has some interesting nuances to it. We know that Jesus has sent us. And that He has sent others, perhaps even into our lives to give us a message. How do we receive that? Are we able to look at others and acknowledge that maybe they have been sent by Jesus, especially when we’re not particularly fond of their message? I think these days, this is especially true of the successors of the Apostles, who have been sent in a special way. If we don’t like what the magisterium is teaching, we tune out. Could it be that we are not receiving Jesus? Something to think about.
Father, help us to always receive Jesus, in the many ways that He chooses to come to us. Help us to always be faithful to the teaching of the Apostles. Amen.