Sunday 14th May: 5th Sunday of Easter (a)
‘Where are you going in life?’ ‘What are you doing with your life?’ These are questions we constantly ask of one another and ourselves. Many do not know how to answer. Even we, as followers of Jesus, feel lost at times. Yet we shouldn’t, for we have Jesus who shows us the way, who is our way to God and to his people. Jesus is not only our way but he is our companion on the road.
In the first reading (Acts 6:1-7), we hear of the growth of the first Christian community and how they sorted out, in a peaceful and just manner, the problems that inevitably arose.
The second reading (! Peter 2:4-9) describes the responsibility and special dignity of the members of the Christian community. We are to continue the mission of Christ by making God known to people and giving praise to God in the name of all.
In the Gospel (John 14:1-12), Jesus consoles his friends who are distressed over his words that he is leaving them. Those who believe in Jesus can do what he did and go where he leads them, for he is the way, the truth and the life for each one of us.
Monday 15th May: Monday in fifth week of Easter.
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke shows Paul working the same signs among pagans as Peter had among the Jews and preaching the same message.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of God’s living presence in his people. He lives by love in the hearts of those who love him and keep his word.
Tuesday 16th May: Tuesday in fifth week of Easter.
Paul and Barnabas are persecuted, stoned and driven from one place to another as they carry on preaching the Gospel. They don’t give up. Paul encourages the disciples and puts fresh heart into them. He acknowledges that God has done great things in them.
In the Gospel Jesus’ message is the same. Just before his passion and death, he speaks of peace and encourages the apostles not to be troubled or afraid. If we are united with God, nobody can rob us of that inner peace of which he speaks.
Wednesday 17th May: Wednesday in fifth week of Easter.
Some Jews tried to cause trouble by suggesting that, in order to become a Christian, a convert from paganism had to be come a Jew first. The apostles convene the first Council of the Church in Jerusalem to resolve the question.
Jesus uses the analogy of the vine. We are all branches of that vine with him. The Father prunes the vine and expects it to produce fruit; we can only do that if we linked to Jesus.
Thursday 18th May: Thursday in fifth week of Easter.
At the Council of Jerusalem, Paul reminds the disciples that God gave the Holy Spirit to many of the pagans as well as the Jews. Therefore, they do not have to become Jews.
Jesus gives his great commandment to his disciples – love one another as I have loved you.
Friday 19th May: Friday in fifth week of Easter.
God’s love turns to God and to others, overcomes selfishness, forgives and shares. It respects the backgrounds and traditions of others which is what we hear of in the first reading today.
We are also reminded that the Lord chose us , accepted us as we are and called us his friends.
Saturday 20th May: Saturday in fifth week of Easter.
Paul sets out on his second missionary journey, this time with Timothy. They head for Macedonia.
Jesus tells the disciples that they too will suffer because they are his friends and they are to carry on his work. ‘Because you are not of this world, the world will persecute you.’