Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 270
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.

I never learned Greek but I have heard that Greek pronouns can be hard to decipher. When Jesus says, "He does not ration his gift of the Holy Spirit" is he speaking of the Father or himself?

Fortunately, neither the Father nor the Son is parsimonious in their gift of life, love, courage, generosity and the many gifts of the Holy Spirit! His mercy is superabundant, which is why we can sing alleluia for seven weeks of Easter and throughout the year.

Recently I was invited at the VA Hospital to bless a one-day Red Cross blood drive. Every eight weeks the crew returns to accept donations from hospital staff and volunteers. (I also donate regularly, but in downtown Louisville on a different schedule.)

I was struck by the readiness of people to donate blood. The Red Cross attempts to honor the donors and notifies us when someone has received our blood but, in fact, it's an anonymous process. We don't know or expect to know who receives the blood. Donors give because they can, in gratitude for the good health they enjoy and the hope they might share it with others.

As a chaplain, I often see the dark red bags hanging on I-V poles in the hospital rooms as patients receive these gifts. When I was struck by a car in 1993 I was given three pints of blood from three different donors.

In many ways it's a small gift involving a sharp pinprick and a half-hour of one's busy schedule. I have never felt any inconvenience following my donation. But it saves some lives and facilitates many recoveries.

How much more is God's generosity, which is shown to us by the passion and death of Jesus? He does not ration his blood!

The Spirit is for us an enormous reservoir of good will, generosity and courage at our disposal. As we are given opportunities to do the right thing each day, we naturally hesitate. An instinct of self-preservation urges us to hold back and wait a while; but the Spirit of God often overcomes that hesitation. We simply tap into that reservoir, open the spigot, Let Go and Let God.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.