Seventh Sunday of Easter
On this day, the Sunday between the Ascension of our Lord and Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, the theme of the readings is unity. This has been a recurring theme throughout Jesus’ life; so often, He preached, “I and the Father are one,” and on His first appearance after His resurrection, He said, receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21), thus reinforcing the unity of the Godhead.
In our first reading of the account of Stephen’s martyrdom, we see the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in the Gospel, “I pray not only for them (the Apostles) but also for those who will believe in me through their words;” Stephen is among the first to be counted. This reading from the Acts also quotes Stephen repeating the words of Jesus as he succumbs to death by stoning, and since Paul was present, we can believe his account.
The Responsorial Psalm emphasizes the concept of the great ruler, “The Lord is King, the most high over all the earth...” These words of the psalm encourage all to ponder the majesty of the great King, and the psalm opens the way for the reading from Revelation, where we find, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” WOW!! What more can we say, think, or pray?
And so, we come to the Gospel where Jesus prays for each of us when He tells the Father. He prays not only for them (the Apostles) but also for those who believe in me through their words so all may be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you… (John 17-21). This Gospel reading is truly a prayer for each of us that we may be united with God, our creator, redeemer, and sanctifier. It is a prayer for unity. Now we must wake up and do our part to complete this plan.
Sr. Miriam Catherine Nevins, OP