6th Sunday of Easter (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 1st May: 6th Sunday of Easter(c).
The first reading today is from the Acts of the Apostles. A big issue for the early Church was how much of the Law and traditions of Moses should be imposed on non-Jewish converts. This reading tells how the problem was solved. They need not submit to Jewish customs as long as they do not give unnecessary offence.
In the second reading, from the Book of Revelation, we are given another glimpse of the new Jerusalem, the heavenly Church of the future, when God’s Kingdom will come in all its glory.
The Gospel passage is from St. John’s Gospel. We hear another section of Jesus’ farewell discourse at the Last Supper. It is dominated by the thought of his imminent departure. He promises that when we love and obey him we will experience the presence of the Father, the peace of the Son and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Monday 2nd May: Memorial of St. Athanasius.
Athanasius was born in 297 at Alexandria. He lived during very troubled times, both politically and within the Church. He was secretary to the local Bishop when he attended the Council of Nicaea, from which we get the Nicene Creed. This Council condemned the priest Arius who was teaching that Jesus was not divine. After he became Bishop, many of Arius’ followers caused a great deal of trouble. The political leaders were inconsistent in whom they supported –sometimes Athanasius, at other times his opponents. He was banished five times from the city and lived for seventeen years in exile. He died in 373.
Tuesday 3rd May: Feast of St. Philip and St. James.
Philip was a follower of John the Baptist but accepted Christ’s call immediately. He persuaded his friend, Nathaniel, to come and see Jesus for himself. He is named among those present at the coming of the Holy Spirit.
James, the Less or Younger, was present at the Council of Jerusalem where it was decided that Gentile converts need not become Jewish as well. A Letter in the New Testament is attributed to him.
Both were martyred as a result of their preaching the Gospel.
Wednesday 4th May: 6th Wednesday of Easter.
Paul travels to the great city of Athens where he preaches to the Greeks. He tries to show them that their statue to an unknown God was really one to the God about whom he was preaching. As soon as he started preaching about the risen Christ, many of them laughed at him and refused to accept his teaching.
Jesus continues teaching the disciples about the work of the Advocate he is sending to them. The Spirit of Truth will lead them to the complete truth. He will help them understand more clearly the link between Jesus and the Father.
Thursday 5th May: Solemnity of the Ascension.
The Ascension of Jesus is the climax of his victory over sin and death. It is a day of joy and hope. Jesus wants us to share in his victory. It is important to realise that he has not left us; he is still with us helping us in our struggles.
Friday 6th May: 6th Friday of Easter.
Jesus was going to pass through his passion and death on the way to the joy of the resurrection. The disciples would have to pass through the pain of separation from Jesus. As a result, they become a little uncertain since they are aware how much it will be tested.
Similarly, the Church in our time is tried and tested daily, constantly renewing itself in the image of Christ.
Saturday 7th May: 6th Saturday of Easter.
When we pray, what do we want God to do? Do we want to change Him so that he does what we want or do we seek his will for us? Do we make time to listen to him in prayer? Do we realise that as well as speaking to us in his word, in Christ, in the Gospel, he speaks to us in our personal history, the events of life, the people around us.
He is risen as he said