First reading: Acts 6: 1-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 32
Second reading: 1 Peter 2: 4-9
Gospel: John 14:1-12
Link to readings.
The powerful theme running through today’s liturgy is one of faith, hope and trust in God. During the coming week, in the good and not so good moments that make up my days, God’s Word is there to inspire, sustain and encourage me. How I have been feeling during the past week; what were the key moments? As I look back I may more easily be able to see God’s presence in them.
Today’s Eastertide readings take me from the difficulties facing the early Church back to the time when Jesus spoke to his disciples of his imminent death. Enfolded in these readings is a glorious song of praise. In today’s world how different things would be if those in authority took their example from the disciples and committed themselves to prayer; seeking wisdom from the Holy Spirit in their decision making (First Reading). I am reminded that my hope is in our faithful God who loves justice and right and I offer him praise and thanksgiving (Psalm). In the Second Reading Peter speaks graphically about the difficulties encountered through lack of faith in God...leading directly to a section of Jesus’ farewell to his disciples. Jesus repeatedly emphasises the crucial need to believe in his word; the ’oneness’ of him and his Father. He speaks of the extraordinary grace given to those who believe in him.
1 Peter 2: 4-9
This letter was written to encourage and give renewed hope to a small group of Christians in Asia Minor who were suffering abuse for their faith. It explains the meaning of their new life through Christ’s resurrection and received in Christian baptism.
It usually helps to enter prayer slowly: so I give myself time to become still before my loving God. I ask for the grace to ponder the deep message of this Eastertide passage; I may ask to be overcome with gratitude for the gift of faith in a world where so many are searching for meaning. Or I may find myself asking for a deeper trust as I struggle to believe in God’s goodness given the problems I am faced with in my daily life. Perhaps I pray that the paschal example of Christ’s life may truly be the cornerstone of my faith. How can I set myself close to Christ? In what ways is my faith in the person of Jesus precious? Do I realise I am through my baptism a ‘chosen’ person? I ponder whatever arises in my mind and heart. I end my prayer giving thanks to God who gives me ‘light’.
Each one has their own way of praying this text. I may be drawn to use my imagination endeavouring to ‘be there’ at the Last Supper, hearing Jesus speaking directly to me. Or, I may prefer to simply hear the story as St John relates it to his readers, noting the various points that Jesus stresses to his disciples.
In whatever way I approach my prayer today, I ask myself how I am feeling. Do I, like the disciples, come with a troubled heart? Thomas and Philip could not fully understand the mysteries Jesus was revealing to them. Do I also have questions, what would I like to say to Jesus? I look again at the depth of the text, where am I most drawn to ponder at this moment in my prayer, in my life? I speak to Jesus, remembering his words,‘Trust in God still, and trust in me.’ When I am ready, I slowly end my prayer.
Reflections from www.pathwaystogod.org from the Jesuits in Britain.