« The first three Sundays of Easter the liturgy presented to us different manifestations of the Risen Lord.
« Last Sunday, we reflected on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
« From the fifth Sunday until de Ascension the readings prepare us for the celebration of the Ascension of the Risen Lord.
FIRST READING – Acts 9: 26-31
- In the Acts of the Apostles Luke narrates some of the events of the first community.
- But his interest was not in giving an account of these events, which were already known by the readers of the book of Acts.
- His interest was to invite the community as such and each one of the members of the community to look again to these events but from the perspective of the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them.
- Maybe this can help all the communities of the Church, all our parishes and groups within them to look at our history and to discover in it the living presence of the Risen Lord who has sent his Spirit to lead us.
- But not only the communities, each one of us in invited to revisit our own life and discover in the many events that have already happened the presence of the Lord, and thus discover the real meaning of these events.
« On the preceding Sundays we have seen Peter acting, today Luke presents Paul who has returned to Jerusalem.
« Paul tries to relate with the other disciples, but they fear him, they do not trust him.
« But among the disciples there is one who allows the Spirit of Jesus to lead him, and tries to live the commandment of the Lord “love one another as I have loved you.” This disciple called Barnabas (Son of consolation) trusts Paul whom he had met in Damascus.
« Paul continues to be the man full of passion for God. Before he persecuted the followers of “the way” out of zealous love for YHWH the God of Israel, the one and only God. Now his passion is for Christ. He wants to know Him more and more, and wants others to know and love him too. The Lord had said to Ananias, the disciple who baptized Paul that he will let Paul know how much he will have to suffer for the Lord.
« Paul begins to suffer the mistrust of his Christian brothers and of his Jewish brothers as well.
« The Christian brothers do trust him; the Jewish brothers plan to kill him.
« The last verse of the reading describe the situation of the first community:
o They enjoy peace and this is the environment that will help the church
o To progress and increase in number.
o What kind of progress does Luke present to us? In the fear of the Lord, that is in the loving faithfulness to her Lord, as we have seen in the example of Barnabas. The small church tries t olive the commandment of the Lord “love one another as I have loved you”
o The result of this is the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
o This consolation comes from the certainty to be surrounded or engulfed in the loving presence of the Spirit, although as in a shadow, to be submerged into the intimate life of the Most Holy Trinity, in the circle of love of the Three.
Responsorial Psalm. Psalm 22:26-27 28. 30. 31-32
Let us make a brief meditation on the first and last stanza.
§ I will fulfill my vow in the presence of those who fear the Lord. My behavior will be the manifestation of my faith.
§ The lowly shall eat their fill. We could say: those who fear the Lord shall eat their fill. Of what? Of
joy because there are others who are faithful to their vows.
§ Those who seek the Lord shall praise him, because they discover his presence in those who are faithful.
§ The psalmist invites us “May your hearts be ever merry!” Why?
§ Because the Lord is in the midst of his people.
§ “My descendants” who are they?
§ He will serve the Lord and will speak tell the wonderful deeds of the Lord to the future generation. He will proclaim his justice to a generation which has not been born yet.
§ Faith is transmitted from one generation to the next, from one believer to the next. Thus faith has come to us from the generations that were before us.
SECOND READING: 1 Jn 3:18-24
John invites his community to love, not only to talk about love.
The love we have assures us that we are in the Truth. Let us remember that Scriptures says that God is Love, and also that God is Truth. To be in the Truth is to be in God.
Our consolation when our conscience accuses us is that God knows everything, He knows all about us.
And on the other hand, if our conscience does not accuse us, we may be sure that we will get what we ask for.
What does that mean? Is it some kind of magic?
No. The answer is given in the following verse, “because we keep his commandments.”
Is it then a reward?
No. If we are faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord it means that we have allowed the Spirit of the Lord to take possession of our heart. Therefore our thoughts and feelings are like those of the Lord Jesus and what we ask in prayer is what Jesus himself would ask. We do not need anything else than what the Lord Jesus wants. Thus our prayer is heart by the Father as the prayer of Jesus.
GOSPEL JOHN 15: 1-8
Ø In the Old Testament the people of Israel was called the “vine of the Lord.”
Ø Jesus says that he is the vine; he is the fulfillment of what Israel was called to be “the vine of YHWH.”
Ø John describes God the Father as the vine grower who takes good care of the vine: he prunes away the barren branches and trims the good ones.
Ø Jesus invites us to live in him as he lives in us.
Ø He says that we cannot bear fruit apart from him.
Ø John repeats here what we have just read in his first letter: If you live in me and my words (commandments) stay part of you, you may ask what you will and it will be done to you.
Ø When we become disciples of Jesus and produce fruit, the Father is glorified.
Ø These words should fill us with joy and unconditional trust in our Lord, the Good shepherd, the Vine.
Ø A. Pagola says: The church will not be able to fulfill its mission in the contemporary world if those of us who call ourselves Christian do not become disciples of Jesus, animated by his spirit and his passion for a more humane world.
Ø And Karl Rahner, a great contemporary theologian said that the Christian and thus have abundant life. of the future will have to be a mystic or will not be Christian at all. A mystic is somebody who has
Ø The gospels we read during the Easter season invite us to allow our Lord to take possession of our being and enter into his intimacy, the intimacy of love that Jesus enjoys in the Most Holy Trinity.
We arrived in the port of Lanzarote on March 29 and we left on May 3. They treated us with the same love and comfort on the last day as in the first and they showed a love so great that they offered me a house and promised to do all the negotiations to found there a monastery, with at least two of us. (The Lord had done to me this grace of being loved extremely by the person with whom I have lived.) Blessed be God our Lord who did so for his glory! O, my heavenly father, you are a true Father and men do not know You! What father more caring and a mother more compassionate could come more eagerly to care and assist us in all our needs? No one. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 154.
Because, as I have already said, I was driven to work for God's greater glory and the salvation of souls, I shall now say something of the means that the Lord showed me were the best and most fitting to attain that goal.The first means I have always employed and still do is prayer. In my opinion, this is the greatest means that can be used for the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just and the relief of the souls in purgatory. Hence in my meditations, Masses, recitation of the breviary and other devotions, as well as in my aspirations, I always asked God and the Blessed Virgin Mary for these three intentions. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters.
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
FLOR SERRANO, Gonzalo. Los Salmos en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento II. La Casa de la Biblia 1997.
PAGOLA, JOSE A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year B. Miami 2011
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography in Escritos(Writings), with commentaries by Juan Manuel Lozano.
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras. Año B(According to the Scriptures. Year B.) Ediciones San Pablo. Bogotá 2005.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. Commentaries in the BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO(The Bible of our People) . Ediciones Mensajero. China 2010