Thanks Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 7th Sunday in Easter Year C
1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 7: 55-60.
It brings the scattering of the early Church, accompanied by events of the first martyr of the Christian community, namely the Deacon Stephen. What is also interesting is the way Luke introduces us to Saul, as a willing participant in the stoning of Stephen. But it is an introduction to how powerful the Holy Spirit really is; for Saul (Paul), will be instrumental in taking the Church out into the wider world. The Apostles had not dispersed and scattered to save their lives, they had remained in Jerusalem to strengthen and fortify the fledgling Church. Only when the Holy Spirit determines the time is right will he encourage the missionary expansion. That Holy Spirit is still at work today and will move us forward when the time and conditions are conducive to the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 96: 1-2, 6-7, 9.
This song is proclaiming the glory of God’s reign and the joy, righteousness and integrity that will accompany it. Our role is to help establish God’s reign in our present world.
2nd Reading from the book of the Apocalypse (Revelations) 22: 12-14, 16-17. 20.
So, the New Testament concludes, imploring the Lord Jesus to come, and this should be the approach of all committed Christians. This prophecy is to remain open and unsealed altering nothing in it. It affirms our faith in Jesus and encourages those who will suffer, and John is the witness by hearing and seeing all these things. The final words of the New Testament are omitted from this reading, but they are a beautiful epilogue “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.” We are those saints for every Christian is called to sanctity of life, belief and practice.
This is part of what is often referred to as Christ’ priestly prayer, as he addresses the Father with a number of key points. The mutual glorification of the Father and the Son followed by the prayer for the people that the Father had given to him from the world, and the request to keep the little community in God’s name. Jesus goes on to warn them that the world will hate them. Jesus then prays for those whom they will teach (namely us.), that we may all be one, just like Father and the Son are one, with Jesus in us and the Father in Jesus. That we may become enveloped in Father and Son. It concludes as it began with the word “Love”. “The love with which you loved me may be in them (us) and I also may be in them.” A wonderful prayer to wrap us in that Love the Father has for the Son and through Jesus his love also transcends to us via the Holy Spirit. We are completely encased by the Love of God. We are truly Blessed.
God Bless you All. Deacon Vincent