Fifth Sunday of Easter
Throughout the Easter season, we hear the story of the earliest Christian communities in readings from the Acts of the Apostles. We hear how the people grappled with what it meant to place their faith and trust in the Lord, understanding that doing so called them to live differently—to follow Jesus’ way of love. This is more than a history lesson for us. As we hear how the people were drawn to Christ and learned to follow Jesus, we are invited to ask ourselves how fully we are taking the gospel to heart. Is Jesus our way, truth, and life? Do our daily actions announce the praises of the Lord?
Change of Mind and Heart from Now On
During Lent, we participated in penitential practices and focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to turn our lives more fully to the Lord. However, the fruit of our Lenten practices is not supposed to end on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. Lent is our annual time to embrace spiritual renewal, which is intended to last. The change of mind and heart that we embraced in the weeks preceding Easter are to be our spiritual foundation, shaping our lives now and into the future. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what difference Lent made for you this year. If you can point to some particular change of mind, heart, or behavior, promise yourself that you will continue to live in this new way in the months and years to come. If Lent did not have a special impact on your life this year, now is the time to invite the Lord to show you the way to more meaningful and faith-filled living in the future.
Don’t be Afraid. Do the Works of Christ
In the Gospel passage we heard today, Jesus was preparing the apostles for a time when he would not be with them physically. Jesus wanted to reassure the apostles, even though he knew they were having a difficult time understanding. We sometimes struggle to grasp the Lord’s ways, too. We know that God is with us in Christ through the Holy Spirit, and yet, when we really have to act in accord with our faith, we sometimes falter. Jesus tells us to not be afraid. Have faith in Christ and do his works. We may be surprised at what we are able to do when we trust and follow Jesus’ way. And we are assured that God will be with us through it all.
Today’s readings: Acts 6:1–7; Ps 33:1–2, 4–5, 18–19; 1 Peter 2:4–9; John 14:1–12
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