Saturday, April 24, 2010
4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER C
4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER – C
ACTS 13:14, 43-52
The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia.
Here they went to synagogue on the Sabbath and took their seats. When
the meeting broke up many Jews and devout converts followed Paul and
Barnabas, and in their talks with them Paul and Barnabas urged them to
remain faithful to the grace God had given them. The next Sabbath
almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw
the crowds, the Jews, filled with jealousy, used blasphemies to
contradict everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out
fearlessly. 'We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but
since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy
of eternal life, here and now we turn to the gentiles. For this is
what the Lord commanded us to do when he said: I have made you a light
to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of
the earth.' It made the gentiles very happy to hear this and they gave
thanks to the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal
life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the
whole countryside. But the Jews worked on some of the devout women of
the upper classes and the leading men of the city; they stirred up a
persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their
territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against
them and went off to Iconium; but the converts were filled with joy
and the Holy Spirit.
REVELATION 7:9, 14-17
After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone
to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they
were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed
in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted in a
loud voice, I answered him, 'You can tell me, sir.' Then he said,
'These are the people who have been through the great trial; they have
washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb. That is why
they are standing in front of God's throne and serving him day and
night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread
his tent over them. They will never hunger or thirst again; sun and
scorching wind will never plague them, because the Lamb who is at the
heart of the throne will be their shepherd and will guide them to
springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they
follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no
one will ever steal them from my hand. The Father, for what he has
given me, is greater than anyone, and no one can steal anything from
the Father's hand. The Father and I are one.
In today's gospel reading, we hear the profound revelation from Jesus
that our God intends to hold us through every storm and every
difficulty of life. It is, amazingly enough, a double protection that
we are offered today. Jesus says that we are in his hands and nothing
will ever snatch us out of his hands. And then he continues to say
that we are in the Father's hands as well and nothing will snatch us
from the Father's hands. No matter what life sends us; no matter what
is thrown our way, Jesus tells us that nothing is going to steal us,
take us, or snatch us out of the loving hands of the mighty and
powerful Lord of all things.
This is not an easy religious doctrine to believe in. For those who
believed the religious leaders of the time of Jesus, it was quite easy
to fall out of favor with God. There were so many things, from gross
failures to minute religious details that could derail one from the
favor and goodness of God. Prostitutes and tax collectors were
considered out of favor with God. That was what everyone thought,
everyone, that is, except Jesus.
Jesus revealed something new and radical. It was the ministry of Jesus
to reveal to those trapped in this permanent underclass of spiritual
and economic misery that even with their sins they were in the loving
and merciful hands of an inexhaustibly gracious God. They were, even
before their conversion activities, loved and held by a God who came
to extend mercy and not to demand sacrifice.
To demonstrate the extent of this mercy, Jesus broke the religious
purity laws of his day. He brought these poor sinners into a radical
table fellowship that took away their shame and guilt. It was this
table fellowship that announced loudly and clearly to them that they
were forever in God's hands, secure in a love that could not be earned
and that was pure graciousness. Jesus broke the boundaries of his day
and infuriated the religious leaders of his time. It was this boundary
breaking activity that led to his image and reputation as a religious
fanatic insurrectionist and an imperial terrorist.
Today's gospel reading offers us a great comfort and a great
challenge. There will be no snatching out of God's hands. There should
be no snatching out of the Church's hands either. Because we are the
Church of Jesus Christ, we should say: "If you are poor, we will carry
you. If you have doubts, we will sustain you. If you are in a dark
night, we will grasp you so you will not fall. If you are afraid and
struggling, we will hold you." No matter what happens, don't let go.
Don't let go of Jesus Christ, for he is our Lord and Savior, now and
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the healing and strength:
- Ely Lara
- Elena Reynosa
- Audrey Jehzrei Medel
- Carmelito and Nenita Edrolin
… for the personal intentions of
- Mariano M.
- Titong V.
… Birthday: Evangeline Belale
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr. Santiago Leon, SJ. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Gregorio Gomez
- Birthday: Victorino Mamalateo
- Thanksgiving: Rodolfo & Agnes Aguilera
- Thanksgiving: Raymond Aguilera
- Wedding Anniversary: Judy & Eduardo Tintoc
- In Memoriam (+): Jovito Yu (Feb 15,1948-Apr 25, 2003)+
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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