Fifth Sunday of EasterFirst Reading: Acts 13:14, 21-27
Second Reading: Rev 21:1-5
Gospel: John 13:31-33a, 34-35
In looking at the readings for today’s liturgy, I am struck by their beauty and simplicity. The reading of those words themselves would serve for more than sufficient reflection.
In the reading from Acts, we witness the glorious return of Paul and Barnabas to their home community in Athens. Their missionary journey to a number of places beyond yielded what sounds like success. They were commended for the work they had accomplished. “They related all that God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith for the Gentiles.”
Could we, on this first Sunday of Easter, sit back and reflect on the times we have touched the lives of people and allowed God to open the door of faith for someone? Perhaps it was a child, a spouse, a grandchild, a stranger or a friend.
In Revelations, John proclaims a new heaven and a new earth. He describes the voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among humans. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his people, and God Himself will be with them…” He continues with the words, “Behold, I make all things new.” What is the NEW that you are seeing God make? What NEW would you like to see God make? How can you help?
Today’s Gospel takes us back to the Last Supper–that intimate meal with Jesus. Again, we hear Jesus’ oft repeated words, “Love one another as I have loved you. This is how all will know that you are my disciples…” As we reflect on the above words of Scripture, may we experience the love God has for each of us.
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O God, and lead all of us to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Joan Claldwell, Associate
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg