Peter Chanel / Louis Mary de Montfort
1st Reading: Acts 9:31-42
Meanwhile, the Church had peace. It was building up throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria with eyes turned to the Lord and filled with comfort from the Holy Spirit.
As Peter traveled around, he went to visit the saints who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed, and had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And the man got up at once. All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
There was a disciple in Joppa named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or Gazelle. She was always doing good works and helping the poor. At that time she fell sick and died. After having washed her body, they laid her in the upstairs room.
As Lydda is near Joppa, the disciples, on hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.”
So Peter went with them. On his arrival they took him upstairs to the room. All the widows crowded around him in tears, showing him the clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter made them all leave the room and then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body he said, “Tabitha, stand up.” She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the saints and widows and presented her to them alive. This became known throughout all of Joppa and many people believed in the Lord because of it.
Gospel: John 6:60-69
Many of Jesus’ followers said, “This language is very hard! Who can accept it?”
Jesus was aware that his disciples were murmuring about this and so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh cannot help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”
From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray him. So he added, “As I have told you, no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Many of the intellectual difficulties we have with the Faith come from the fact that we bring the wrong kind of mind to it. The modern world has largely lost the power of symbolic thinking and replaced it with analysis. Analysis in itself is a powerful mode of thought, but it is not the whole of thought. Even people whose conscious minds are fixed in an analytical mode are still moved unconsciously by symbolism. Our world (especially the world of advertising) is filled with symbols of contentment, pleasure, fulfillment, happiness; and these work on us all, no matter how analytical we may be. We are all the more easily manipulated by symbolism when we do not recognize its reality. Our Faith can withstand analysis, but you cannot live on analysis. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (v. 63).
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