Saturday, May 17, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 6: 1-7 / Ps 33: 1-2, 4-5, 18-19 (22) / 1 Pt 2: 4-9 / Jn 14: 1-12
First Reading: Acts 6: 1-7
In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, "It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables. So, friends, choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them to this task. As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word." The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit; Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte. They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them. The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2: 4-9
He is the living stone rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you, too, become living stones built into a spiritual temple, a holy community of priests offering spiritual sacrifices that please God through Jesus Christ. Scripture says: See, I lay in Zion a chosen and precious cornerstone; whoever believes in him will not be disappointed. This means honor for you who believed, but for unbelievers also the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and it is a stone to stumble over, a rock which lays people low. They stumble over it in rejecting the Word, but the plan of God is fulfilled in this. You are a chosen race, a community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made his own to proclaim his wonders. For he called you from your darkness to his own wonderful light.
Gospel: John 14: 1-12
"Do not be troubled; trust in God and trust in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms. Otherwise I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. If you know me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know him and you have seen him." Philip asked him," Lord, show us the Father and that is enough." Jesus said to him, "What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever sees me sees the Father; how can you say: 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? All that I say to you, I do not say of myself. The Father who dwells in me is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do. Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father.
Jesus wants us to take our eyes off our problems and put them on him. Jesus gives us two reasons not to worry. First, because he is going to prepare a place for us. Jesus tells his disciples "In my Father's house are many mansions..." Jesus assures his disciples that the reason he was going away was to prepare a place for them. He also assures them that there would be plenty of room for them and all believers. He says there will be "many" mansions. Other places in the Bible it tells us that this place will be more glorious than any place we can imagine. 1 Cor. 2:9 "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But having a place prepared for us and getting there are two different stories. However, he assures us by saying "I go to prepare a place for you."
Certainly he would not go to prepare for friends unless he expected that they would finally arrive. He would not make preparations for us and then leave us stranded. Jesus also says: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also." Though he did not elaborate on the promise, the guarantee is unmistakable. His return is as certain as his departure, and he would take them with him to his Father's house. This promise does not refer to death. Jesus left by the road of death; he will return by the road of life.
Jesus' second reason for us not to worry has to do with the fact that we can trust him. He says "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Yes, Jesus is the Way to the Father. Jesus is the Truth of all God's promises and Jesus is the Life as he joins his divine life to ours, both now and eternally. Jesus is the way that leads to the truth and life. Jesus' reply is the ultimate foundation for a philosophy of life. First, it is personal.
He did not claim merely to know the way, the truth, and the life as a formula he could impart to the ignorant; but he actually claimed to be the answer to human problems. He is not a way, but the way. He is not a truth, but the truth. He is not a life, but the life. Jesus didn't respond to Thomas's question with some cheap quote off the top of his head, but he spoke from a position of authority. He is the way to the Father because only he has an intimate knowledge of God unmarred by sin. He is the truth because he has the perfect power of making life one coherent experience in spite of its ups and downs. He is the life because he was not subject to death but made death subject to him. We can depend on Jesus because he is: The Way, The Truth, The Life. We can depend on Jesus because He will show us the way to the Father, reveal to us all truth, lead us to eternal life. We don't have to worry because Jesus will make a way where there is no way. Jesus will show the truth when the devil feeds us a pack of lies. Jesus will give us life that no one can take away. We don't have to worry about the cares of this world because Jesus is the great "I Am" who cares for us. Yes, we don't have to worry because Jesus has prepared a place for us, because Jesus is someone we can depend on. We can worry if we want to, but we should rather trust Jesus.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
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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