7th Sunday of Easter (b)
Paschal Tide. (B)
Sunday 13th May: 7th Sunday of Easter. (B)
The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. It tells how Matthias was chosen as the successor to Judas and so the group of twelve is completed again.
The second reading is from the first letter of St. John. We are reminded that God loves us first and foremost. Our response to that love should be grow in faith and love, gifts of the Holy Spirit whose coming we celebrate next Sunday.
The Gospel passage comes from St. John’s Gospel. Jesus begs the father to keep the disciples in his care. They are the ones who are to carry on his work in the world.
Monday 14th May: Feast of St. Matthias.
After Our Lord’s Ascension, Matthias was chosen by lot to fill the place of Judas among the Apostles. His election is narrated in the Acts of the Apostles and, outside this, we hear no more about him in the New Testament. Nothing is known of his martyrdom. Legend says that he was either crucified or beheaded.
Tuesday 15th May: Tuesday in the 7th week of Easter.
After many joys and difficulties in Ephesus, Paul now has to leave. He sums up all his work. He talks of his feeling of foreboding that he will become a prisoner for the Lord. Even then, he must still witness to the Good News.
Jesus prays to his Father. The hour has come to glorify his son. He then prays for his disciples and entrusts them to the care of the Father.
Wednesday 16th May: Wednesday in the 7th week of Easter.
Paul continues his farewell speech to the Ephesians. He asks the leaders to be on their guard against false teachers, even from within their own ranks. He reminds them to be generous in the care and support of each other.
Jesus continues his prayer to the Father for the disciples. ‘Keep them true to your name…protect them from the evil one.’
Thursday 17th May: Thursday in the 7th week of Easter.
Paul returns to Jerusalem and causes a riot in the Temple from which he has to be rescued by the Roman guards. Many tried to kill him but he is given the opportunity, by the authorities, of explaining what he was doing. He tells the story of his own conversion and as a result causes division between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He has to be rescued.
We hear another part of Jesus’ prayer for the disciples. He prays for unity amongst them, a unity that mirrors the unity between the Father and Jesus. His prayer goes beyond his immediate disciples but looks forward to include all Christians of all time.
Friday 18th May: Friday in the 7th week of Easter.
The Jews continue to conspire against Paul. He is moved to Caesarea and there appeals his case to Rome. The Roman Governor is determined to agree to Paul’s request to be treated as a Roman citizen. It is agreed that he should go there for trial. In this way Paul fulfils the prophecy that he must bear witness to Jesus in Rome itself.
We move towards the end of John’s Gospel. Peter assures Jesus three times of his love. This mirrors the three fold denials from earlier. He repents and is forgiven and made shepherd of the flock.
Saturday 19th May: Saturday in 7th week of Easter.
Paul appeals to Rome and it is agreed he should be sent there. On his arrival he preaches to the Jewish community and spends his time speaking with anyone who would listen.
This is the final section of John’s Gospel. He denies that he has been singled out to not to die but guarantees the truth of all that he has written in his Gospel.