Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 6:1-7 - 1 Peter 2:4-9 - John 14:1-12
Today's Readings Hint at Preparation.
The first reading from Acts lets the reader feel the hustle and bustle of the disciples' lives at this point in time. You can sense their enthusiasm and commitment to the mission, but then it becomes apparent that the people's day-to-day needs also need addressing. Big comes up against small. For a brief moment, prayer and ministry conflict with the need to "serve at the table," but just long enough for the reader to grasp the importance of both nourishment for the soul and the body.
Both are vital for the fullness of life. Is one big and one small? Maybe not. The apostles quickly find a resolution, choosing men suited to serving at the table, then all go about fulfilling their mission and calling, but not before the concept of interdependence is introduced.
The second reading, 1 Peter: 2:4-9 presents Jesus as a "living stone," the cornerstone; a foundation's most important stone, upon which all other stones are positioned.
Now that I'm thinking about interdependence from the first reading, I began reflecting on the relationship between the cornerstone of a structure and those stones that follow. Here again, what good is one without the other? Both are necessary and serve in building the structure.
In John's gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples from a place of knowing, what today could be described as, in riddle form, something to be cleverly deciphered. This must have been so difficult for his followers since they were still limited, desperately struggling to understand his message. "In my father's house, there are many dwelling places," "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me." How utterly confusing! Bewildering!
Isn't that the way Jesus communicates quite often? His messages hold uncertainty in meaning. I think God does not promise us knowing or understanding. We crave these things. Our human condition needs them. We find safety and security in certitude, but God holds faith and trust in higher regard. Much of what we believe as Catholics is cloaked in mystery, which leads us to where God wants us - having faith and trust in Him.
This gospel passage ends with Jesus speaking of how the Father is doing His works through the Son and how once He, Jesus, returns to the Father, the works he does and "greater ones than these" will be done by "whoever believes in me." What a magnificent display of interdependence!
Let us follow this example in all our affairs, doing our part, whether big or small, in furthering the Reign of God. Amen.
Peggy Roach, Associate