FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
First Reading: Acts 14: 21-27
22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.”
Even though he was almost stoned to death, (Acts 14:19) St. Paul keeps moving forward. He leads the way in spreading the Good News far and wide. Today he encourages us in our faith, even as we may face challenges.
27 When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them and how he had opened a door of faith for the gentiles.
We see great unity, humility, equality, and charity, among the first believers. Fasting and praying was also the staple practice among the apostles. (23) The life of a Christian calls for a disciplined life because we are disciples! How do we respond to this call?
Oh, that today you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts. (Ps. 95:7-8)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 145: 8-13
9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
The Lord has made us. His faithful will tell of His Glories!
Second Reading: Revelation 21: 1-5a
The Final Drum Roll!
1Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
This event would be like no other, ever imagined by any human mind! No Expo, No Olympics, and No other great pageantry could ever be any match at all to this New World! Behold, it has started to unfold before our eyes, may we have the courage to ‘see’!
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The persecutions we may face today provide us a channel to pass through his gates! It is the Lord’s Word, which is Truth.
Do we not hear the drums roll already? He Comes.
Gospel: John 13: 31-35
To see the New World, follow the New Commandment!
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.
The one who went out was the betrayer. (John 13:2, 27) The Lord knew who he was all along. He washed the betrayer’s feet and shared his last meal with him too. (John 13:1-30) And after he had gone out, Jesus continues to speak to the remaining faithful. The new commandment was not given to the betrayer.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
Though Christ was indeed denied by Peter, it was only Peter who had followed him into the Sanhedrin that night. (Matt 26:57-67) Upon realizing his folly, Peter immediately wept and repented. (Matt. 26:75, Mark 14:72) He didn’t allow sin to take hold over him. He remained faithful, humble, and repentant.
Therefore, before the devil grabs hold of our soul, we must Repent! Repent now, and commit to faithful living! It is possible now. Seek the Lord while HE can be found! Also, don’t be surprised to see satan prowling about near the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist; remember he prowls about like a roaring lion seeking to destroy (1Peter 5:8). He will snag us in our weakest moment if he can. He tried St. Peter that night too!
Let us put on the whole armour of God (Eph 6:10-20) and stand firm. May the Lord Holy Spirit guide us all.