for Sunday, May 14, 2017
"You have faith in God; have faith also in me." "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." These two quotes from today's Gospel from Saint John try to express God's words to us about how to live with the Lord Jesus. All of us, including these earlier followers of Jesus, can be with Jesus and still not know Him. We relate to Him and we strive to follow Him and yet there are enormous areas of our lives in which we simply do not know Him.
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, begins to show us that even in the earliest Christian communities, there were problems and conflicts. These early followers tried to solve problems by dialog and taking counsel - and most of the time it seems to have worked, but not always. We humans find conflict almost more natural than living in harmony!
Every Christian community will have conflicts and differences and challenges. There is no easy way to deal with them. Yet we must deal with them or we break apart as a community. One of the great gifts in our Catholic Church is that we believe that there is an authority structure in the Church and that individuals and individual congregations or individual Churches cannot solve problems alone. We must work together.
The second reading is from the First Letter of Saint Peter. Today's passage reminds us that we shall inevitable stumble if we do not base our lives on the Word of God. Today so many of us want to base our lives simply on our own personal insights and ways of thinking and our own personal experiences. Surely our insights, ways of thinking and personal experiences are important - but they must always be judged by the Word of God and looked in in the light of that Word. We humans are mysteries in progress, not simply realities that can no longer change. Life is about living this mystery of God's love for us and responding to His Word. That Word will change us and transform us. If we do not heed the Word, we stumble and fall.
This brings us back to the Gospel and to the knowledge that Jesus truly gives Himself to us and invites us to live in that personal self-giving. Once we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, our lives begin to change. We may fail over and over and over - but always we get up and keep on going because the Lord is with us and invites us to keep walking with Him.
My sisters and brothers, Christ is risen and is alive. Christ is risen and invites us to walk as He walked and to live as He lived. May this Easter Sunday help us give ourselves more completely to Him.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: