Reflection for the 7th Sunday of Easter – Cycle C.

Image result for 7th sunday of easter year c

FIRST READING        Acts of the Apostles 7:55-60

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.  They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.  The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.  As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them;” and when he said this, he fell asleep.

SECOND READING     Apocalypse  22:12-14, 16-17, 20

I, John, heard a voice saying to me:  “Behold, I am coming soon.  I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”  Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates.  “I, Jesus, sent my angel to give you this testimony for the  churches.  I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star.”  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”  Let the hearer say, “Come.”  Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.  The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!

GOSPEL            John 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:  “Holy Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.  And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.  Father, they are your gift to me.  I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me.  I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

My sisters and brothers in the Lord,

This is a time between Ascension and Pentecost.  This is a time when we should long for the Spirit to come upon us.  We have the Spirit already but always we can renew that desire to share more in the Spirit and to have the courage to live and preach our faith.

The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, today begins with these words:  Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit.  Many of the early Christians were filled with the Spirit in such a way that they could not be silent.  They had to proclaim the message of Jesus.  Many, if not most of us, are more timid in proclaiming our faith.  Perhaps if we are put to the test, we would become as strong as some of those early Christians.  Even if we are not put to the test, we must seek ways to be witnesses to Jesus, speaking of His presence by the way we live.

The second reading, from the Book of Revelation, speaks to the end of time, but also to the present time, when it says, with such beauty:  Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.  The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!  May we also invite the Lord Jesus to come into our lives, into our communities, into our countries—as well as into our souls.  May we thirst for the life-giving water!

The Gospel of John brings us back to the central message of Jesus, His teaching for us and for all humankind:  that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.  We need to stop and just listen to the meaning of those words once again.  Jesus is praying that the love with which the Father loves him may be in us and that Jesus Himself may be in us.  What a strong prayer!  Can we believe that this is what Jesus wants?

In these days between Ascension and Pentecost, we must keep calling on the Spirit to come into our lives.  If the Spirit is in us, so is Jesus and so is the Father.  At the level of faith, we believe that it is so.  Yet we have to convert our whole being to believe in this reality!  Come, Lord Jesus!  Come, Holy Spirit!  May we be filled with God’s grace this day and may our longing to understand and live the heavenly mysteries be deepened.  Come, God of our ancestors!  Transform us in the love of Jesus by the power of the Spirit.  Amen.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

This entry was posted in Biblical Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reflection for the 7th Sunday of Easter – Cycle C.

  1. Thank you, Abbot Philip.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s