Season of Easter (b)
Sunday 6th May: 5th Sunday of Easter. (B)
Much more than a set of truths in which to believe, our faith is a union with a living person, Jesus Christ. His words and actions should be our guide to life. We cannot think of him and pray to him all the time but we can, with his help, try to live his life.
The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, shows how Paul, from being a fanatic persecutor of the early church, becomes one of its greatest champions.
The second reading, from St. John’s first letter reminds us that, if we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another with a real active love, we can be certain that God is present in us and that we are untied to him.
The Gospel reading fromSt Johnreminds us that only when we are united with Jesus in faith and love, like branches on a vine, can our lives be fruitful. God will give us everything that is good.
Monday 7th May: Monday in the 5th 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 8th May: Tuesday in the 5th 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 9th May: Wednesday in the 5th 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 inJerusalem 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 10th May: Thursday in the 5th 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 11th May: Friday in the 5th 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 12th May: Saturday in the 5th week of Easter.
Paul sets out on his second missionary journey, this time with Timothy. They head forMacedonia.
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.’