Gospel Reflection for 5th Sunday Easter Year C – April 28th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27
Paul and Barnabas went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.
When Judas had gone Jesus said:
‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
‘My little children, I shall not be with you much longer.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another;
just as I have loved you,
you also must love one another.
By this love you have for one another,
everyone will know that you are my disciples.’
Where God’s glory shines through is in the ordinary – the parent loving the baby and caring for the family, neighbourhood care and concern, the extended family of aunts and uncles who love and the grandparents, the love of a friend… this is God’s glory. Also, in creation like the sunset and the sunrise, the new life of Spring and Summer. The glory of the divine is in humanity, creation and especially love. The glory of God is humanity fully alive in love and care and compassion and justice.
All Are Welcome
We can load religion with rules and customs that take on the importance of gospel truths. All are welcome in the house of God and are not to be overburdened with the externals of religion – the message of the first reading.
There is a big gospel truth noted today – love one another. This is our centre – where we come from and where we go to. This is the word for today. In love is God’s glory. In the centre of our lives is the love which is a passion and a motivation.
Love is from God. Love which shows itself in small ways.
Mass each week brings us back to our centre as does prayer, a good chat with a friend or spouse, time spent doing the good deed for the day or admiring the creation of God.
This makes us share the divine. God became like us that we might become like him. Not alone is God seen in love, but love is seen in God. When we truly love we are truly sharing in the divine life!
Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier – Blessed Mother Teresa.
Donal Neary SJ