Not My Will, But Yours

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 12:24—13:5a

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them."
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
"Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

A season of big changes is coming up in my life. If I try to imagine six months from now, I cannot; there are so many unknowns looming ahead. Of course, none of us can really know what our lives will look like in six months—or tomorrow, for that matter, as every breath is a gift from God—but many of us probably have a decent guess.

As for my family, we hope that my husband will successfully complete his PhD program, receive a job offer, and we’ll pack up our lives and move to who knows where. (The Lord knows where.) I don’t know if we will move closer to our families, as we both deeply desire, or farther from them. I don’t know what the opportunities for my own work will be in our new location. I don’t know what parish we will attend, what community we will be a part of, or where my son will go to preschool. But, one thing I do know: God is God, and He has this.

Today’s readings encourage us to seek and to follow the will of God, to follow Christ. In the First Reading, we hear that the Apostles sought to know the will of the Father through fasting and prayer. We are called to these practices, too, sisters—and not only during Lent. When we earnestly seek to know God’s will, we invite the Holy Spirit to move in our lives.

In Saint John’s Gospel reading, Jesus shares how His earthly mission, too, was doing the will of the Father. “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.” It is Jesus’s submission to our Father’s will that ultimately grants us salvation: “Not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

God’s providential plan for our lives is beyond imagining, sisters. With its joys and sorrows, twists and turns, may we experience peace of heart, knowing that “whoever follows [Him] will have the light of life.” Like the Apostles, let us be sent forth by the Spirit in this Easter season. Let us share with others the joy that comes from following our risen Lord.

Raise your voice in prayer with the Psalmist: “May Your way be known upon the earth.” Yes, Lord God! Jesus, have Your way in me.

Elise Howe is a devoted wife, momma, and musician currently living in NYC, though she will always be a midwestern gal at heart. You can find out more about her here.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    May 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Dear Elise,
    Thank you so much for everything you shared today. It was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for welcoming the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to guide your words. God will always provide what we need, and sometimes it’s a word of hope that lights up our dark moments.
    God bless you all!

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