Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 7, 2023
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, and as we come closer to the end of the Easter season, our Sunday readings repeat essential themes which invite us to the Beloved Community:
- In Acts, the nascent Christian community grows, organizes, reflects and preaches the Good News.
- In John’s Gospel, Jesus reiterates his enduring presence and love for all who live in his Word.
- In his letter, Peter calls the growing community to recognize themselves as God’s dwelling place whose foundation has been secured in Christ.
This Sunday’s readings invite us, for the sake of the whole Church, to draw power for our Christian lives today:
They ask us to reflect on the experience of the early Church
and to learn from the way these Christians grew
in their understanding of faith and discipleship.
As the number of disciples continued to grow…Acts 6
the Twelve called together the community of the disciples….
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community…
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly
They ask us to respond to the timeless call
to be God’s Presence in the world.
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings1 Peter 2:4-5
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house…
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
They assure us that Jesus indwells and blesses
our faithful commitment to this call.
Do not let your hearts be troubled.John 14:1-2;12
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places…
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
Let’s face it, we live a long way in time from that bubbling little faith community described in Acts. Peter’s and Jesus’ encouragement have to echo down two thousand years to reach us! It’s not easy to stay plugged in to the dynamic power offered in today’s readings. How do we do that?
We have these amazing gifts to draw on:
- the capacity to pray
- the indwelling of the Holy Spirit resident in our souls
- the blessing of a sacramental life
- the living Word of the scriptures
- the rich legacy of spiritual writings stored up through history
- the current library of spiritual and theological literature
- the sacred gifts of poetry, music and art
- the beauty of God’s Creation in nature
- the witness of our surrounding faith communities both living and dead
How unfortunate if we fail to recognize these gifts, given as means to open our hearts to our shared call to holiness!
Poetry: Mysteries, Yes – Mary Oliver
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs. How rivers and stones are forever in allegiance with gravity while we ourselves dream of rising. How two hands touch and the bonds will never be broken. How people come, from delight or the scars of damage, to the comfort of a poem. Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers. Let me keep company always with those who say “Look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.
Music: One Love – Bob Marley