FIRST READING – Acts 6:1-7
Ø Jesus said to his apostles that the Holy Spirit would remind them all his words. In this reading from the Acts, these words of Jesus become real.
Ø This passage is like an image of what the Church has been doing during her journey through history, whenever she is confronted with new problems or issues she has to discern the new situation in order to be faithful to the Lord.
Ø Those who have the mission to guide the Church, the pastors, will have to look at the problems, difficulties or new situations which confront the Christian community , discover and try to understand the voice of the Spirit.
Ø All the groups in the Church will have to do the same, under the guidance of their pastors.
Ø And also all the members of the Church will have to do the same if they want to be faithful to the words of Jesus.
Ø Chapter 6 of Acts presents a very concrete situation. There are differences among them, they did not take care of all the poor in the same way.
Ø At the beginning the first community of the followers of Jesus was formed by persons converted from the Jewish faith. They took good care of their widows and orphans. That was not difficult, since they had been doing that long before in response to the law of Israel.
Ø But now there are also other widows who come from other countries, speak other languages.
Ø The community is too large now, and the apostles cannot take care of all the needs that the community has. They decide to look for help among the men of the community. A new ministry is born in the Christian community: the deacons whose main mission will be to take care of those in need.
Ø They choose 7 men deeply spiritual and prudent, faithful to the teachings of the Lord.
Ø The first community of the young Church that the book of Acts presents as a model has its problems too.
Ø There are two groups, those who want to continue with the old way of the Jewish traditions. We could call them conservatives.
Ø The second group was formed by persons converted from the pagan world. They were open to new ways in the interpretation of the teachings of Jesus.
Ø Faced with this situation the community of the believers, the Church, has to listen to the voice of the Spirit of Jesus who will remind her the words of Jesus “love one another as I have loved you….”
Ø This will give birth to the local or ecumenical councils. The pastors assembled in council will look at the different problems that the Church experiences in different times, and they will look for answers listening in community to the Spirit of Jesus.
Ø Let us reflect on our community, our apostolic movements and see if we are faced with problems similar to those of the first community of Jerusalem.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM. Ps 33: 1-2. 4-5. 18-19
LORD, LET YOUR MERCY BE ON US, AS WE PLACE OUR TRUST IN YOU.
Exult, you just in the Lord
Praise from the upright is fitting
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp
With the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises
Uptight is the Word of the Lord
And all his works trustworthy
He loves justice and right
Of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full
See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him
Upon those who hope for his kindness
To deliver them from death
And preserve them in spite of famine
This psalm begins with an invitation to praise the Lord, even using musical instruments.
The reason for this invitation is that the love of the Lord fills the earth. Trully if we look around us especially now that spring begins and life comes back to the sleepy earth, we see the beauty of the wild flowers. All this beauty is the fruit of God’s unconditional love for all of us, God who has created all this beauty for our delight.
Another reason to acclaim our God is because he cares for us “his eyes are upon his faithful ones. This image reminds us of the mother who watches over her child while he or she is joyfully playing, because the child knows that the mother is there with him or her.
This is our God, always with us, let this thought fill us with peace and trust.
SEGUNDA LECTURA – First letter of Peter
Since the second Sunday of Easter we are reading from this letter. What do we know about this letter?
ü If we read the first verse of the letter
ü We know that Peter is the author of the letter
ü That he writes for the elect, the baptized-consecrated, from a very large region of Asia.
ü And let us go now to the last chapter 5,12, Peter says to us that the letter has been written by Silvanus. This means that Sylvanus has been the secretary who has write down what Peter was dictating
ü The addressees are people from different countries who live all over the region. It is a letter addressed to migrant persons, who work and live far from home and from country. People discriminated against by those who are in a better economic position. People considered like objects of production, not as persons. Men and women who work to produce and thus increase the wealth of the owners, who have forgotten that we are all equals.
ü This reality might as well explain the central theme of the letter, the sufferings of Christ that give meaning to our own sufferings.
ü The verb suffer and the word suffering is repeated over and over throughout this entire letter.
SECOND READING – 1Pt 2:4-9
« The message of this fragment of the letter of Peter is very rich.
« Peter describes the Young Church, the community of the believers as a temple and each one of us is one of the stones. This is a beautiful image, the more beautiful the stone the more beautiful the temple.
« This passage also reminds us the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman. Jn 4,23-24.
« In the book of Revelation there is another image of the Church as the Holy City which is at the same time the bride of the Lamb 21,10-27.
« Peter describes Jesus as the cornerstone. The cornerstone holds the building together.
« Jesus is this stone. This stone is of value for those who have faith
« But it is a stumbling blog for those who oppose it ( Is 28,16).
« These words remind us the words of Simeon when Jesus was presented in the Temple by Joseph and Mary
« Peter tells us that we are a priestly nation consecrated to proclaim the wonderful works of God.
« Let us discover in our life the marvels God has done in the past, is doing now and will continue to do for us.
GOSPEL Jn 14:1-12
Jesus says to his apostles and to us “do not let your hearts be troubled.”
He also invites them to believe in God and in Him.
Heaven is presented as a home with many rooms which Jesus himself prepares for each one of us. When we expect someone to visit us to stay for some days, we prepare the room and everything so that person feels at home. Let this powerful image that John offers to our contemplation help us to dream, to imagine the beauty of heaven, our home; knowing that Jesus prepares an eternal room for us with the Most Holy Trinity.
There are two other images in this text
ü Jesus is The way to go to this “home”
He is also the truth and the life.
The way to discover the truth in order to have abundant life.
ü Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father
Jesus is in the Father and the Father in him.
The words of Jesus are the words the Father says to him.
The works Jesus does are the works the Fathers does in him.
The passage began with the words of Jesus “do not let your hearts be troubled,” and ends with these powerful words which will help us “not to be troubled”:
I SOLEMNLY ASSURE YOU, THE MAN WHO HAS FAITH IN ME WILL DO THE WORKS I DO,
AND GREATER FAR THAN THESE, WHY? BECAUSE I GO TO THE FATHER.