Daily Reflection

The Life of Christian Faith

April 23, 2024 | Tuesday
  • Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
  • John 10:22-30

    Acts 11:19-26

    Psalm 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

    John 10:22-30


    The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.

    It was winter.

    And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.

    So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,

    “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?

    If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

    Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.

    The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.

    But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.

    My sheep hear my voice;

    I know them, and they follow me.

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

    No one can take them out of my hand.

    My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

    and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

    The Father and I are one.”


    Opening Prayer: Lord God, as I contemplate the work of your Son and the work of the early Christians, I witness the power of faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Your Son constantly invited the people to believe in him and the disciples of Jesus did the same. You invite me each day to renew and deepen my faith in your Son. I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!


    Encountering the Word of God


    1. Is Jesus the Christ? In the Gospel of John, it is the winter before Jesus’ passion and crucifixion. Jesus is in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple (also known as Hannukah). The Feast celebrated the rededication of the Temple during the Maccabean revolt. As Jesus walks in the Temple under the Portico of Solomon, the Jews ask him to tell them openly whether or not he is the Christ (Messiah). In response, Jesus refers them to the signs and works that he has done in his Father’s name during the past two and a half years. These signs and works are a testimony that he is the eternal Son of God, the Word made flesh, the prophet-like-Moses, the Anointed One (the Christ) who has been sent by the Father. Jesus does not and will not force the people to believe in him, this is because faith is a free act we do insofar as we are first moved by and collaborate with God’s grace. Faith is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is our personal adherence to God. But it cannot be forced. Through faith in Jesus and through Baptism in his name, we are welcomed into God’s flock and gathered under the one Shepherd, Jesus Christ.


    2. Faith as the Beginning of Eternal Life: The sheep of God’s flock who hear Jesus’ voice obey and follow him. To obey “in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself” (CCC, 144). The virtue of faith is the beginning of eternal life in us and, in heaven, it gives way to the vision of God, just as the virtue of hope gives way, in heaven, to the enjoyment and possession of God. We cannot believe in God the Father and in his Jesus Christ without sharing in the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to human beings who Jesus is. No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).


    3. Barnabas and the Christians in Antioch: In the First Reading Barnabas proclaims the Lord Jesus because he is “filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith.” Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord is a proclamation that God the Father and Jesus Christ are one. This proclamation, confessed in our creed, is one of the marks of a true Christian and follower of Jesus Christ. The Acts of the Apostles recounts some of the difficulties that the early Church faced. The persecution that followed Stephen’s martyrdom spread the Hellenistic (Greek-speaking) Christian Jews to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They chose to preach the word of God exclusively to Jews, yet some from Cyprus and Cyrene decided to proclaim the word of God to Greek-speaking Jews and to the Gentile Greeks as well. Since many Greeks believed and converted to the Lord, the Church in Jerusalem sent the Greek speaker Barnabas, who was from the Island of Cyprus, to Antioch. Like Peter in the house of the Gentile Cornelius, Barnabas saw the grace of God at work in the Gentiles. During his ministry in Antioch, a large number of people were added to the Lord. During his ministry, Barnabas decided to seek out another Greek-speaking Christian, Saul, who had fled persecution in Jerusalem and had settled in his hometown of Tarsus, some 150 miles from Antioch. Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch and they taught there for a whole year (sometime around A.D. 43).


    Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, like Barnabas and Saul, I want to boldly proclaim the Gospel in my family, my workplace, and in my community. Enlighten my mind and heart to know how and when to proclaim you as the Son of God and Savior of the world.


    Living the Word of God: Today’s readings invite us to renew our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. With God’s grace we can grow in our faith. This faith finds expression in love, service, and self-sacrifice. It is strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It influences our decisions and actions in such a way that we can act as true disciples of Jesus. How is my faith expressing itself in love and charity?

    © 2024. EPRIEST, Inc. All rights reserved.

At ePriest, we are dedicated to supporting Catholic priests as they serve their people and build up the Church.

We invite you to explore our resources to help your own ministry flourish!

Sign Up Now