FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Also Read: Mass Readings for 25 Apr 2021
First Reading: Acts 4: 8-12
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” (12)
St. Peter continues his bold testimony about Christ’s power! This passage begins with: “…filled with the Holy Spirit,” (i.e) Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and hence his boldness! All the simple four verses included in the reading are laden with power and the grace of God. Peter quotes the scripture in proclaiming Jesus as the cornerstone! Only a person inspired by the Holy Spirit is able to so aptly and effectively quote scripture!
The last verse closes the argument by saying that there is salvation in no one else. Do we realize this? Have we experienced this? Have we received Christ’s blessings in our lives before? Yes, we have! If we reflect on our lives, we will know this to be true. Yet, are we going over in circles trying to rid ourselves of certain issues in our lives? Then, we keep looking for alternatives elsewhere -be it in friends, relatives, other philosophies, gurus, etc!! May we know: there is only one solution to all our problems!
The greatest self-help book is the Bible, the greatest speaker: Jesus, and the greatest healer: God! May we turn our hearts to Him! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
Our First Prayer- Humility!
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to put confidence in mortals. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (8,9)
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing it is marvellous in our eyes.” (22-23)
“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (28-29)
When we have experienced God in our lives, we ought to ask Him for the Holy Spirit! Someone might say, we have the Holy Spirit at baptism already, so why ask now? It is because when we ask Him to illuminate our hearts, that we are in submission to His words. We must be fertile ground for his awakening in us! We are given free will by Our Dear Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit being a person and part of the Holy Trinity works in us once we allow our spirit to be led by him. Our first prayer to him must be in our humility.
When we place our full confidence in him, with our humbled souls; we will be granted this grace by the Dear Holy Spirit. He the Holy Spirit is the best friend we could ever have! Christ promised us in John 14:16, that he would be our advocate/ advisor/counselor! Amen! Therefore, when we have been graced by his in-filling we will know! – We will know this in the quiet contentment of our heart and soul, we will know in the child-like joy within our spirit. -We will know the solution! Then we will know, that though Christ himself was rejected, He is now the Cornerstone! We ought to declare in joyful praise “You are my God and I will give thanks to you.”
Second Reading: First John 3: 1-2
Let Your Light Shine!
The world did not know him! They will not know us! But we are God’s children through Christ Jesus! We do not see him with our human eyes and frail minds now! Beware, we know him in our hearts! -The Spirit cautions us, we can see him in our spirit if we reach out to him there!
Dear St. John the beloved disciple of Christ, today reveals to us gems of his own life experience of God’s intimate and profound love for us, his children. The two verses encompass our entire faith, here today! “…when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (2) – This is a glorious image the Holy Spirit graces us with when we worship God in spirit and in truth. We know God is light so we, his children, are specks of the same light. May we see by his light. Amen!
Gospel: John 10: 11-18
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (11)
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” (14)
“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold, I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (16)
“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.” (17)
Jesus Christ our good shepherd, lays down his life for us his sheep! Christ was thinking about us here today when he declared those words 2000 years ago! “…that do not belong to this fold,”(16) -We hail from various backgrounds, yet we are called into his fold as children of our God and Father! We are being gathered together today, from various parts of the world, through different means and driven by strange (to us) circumstances! May we understand this great truth! May we believe.
Our hearts rise in content and peace when we congregate in spirit with our brethren. We would have felt a fond joy in reuniting with our ‘own’ in the past! But in the world today, we experience a soothing comfort in knowing that like-minded people, somehow spiritually congregate when we worship/ write/ share on virtual devices globally. Praise God!
May we know Christ and our own in him! Amen!
It is amazing to note the common thread running in today’s readings and the gospel, from solutions to prayer and humility, to his light and his own! There is a perennial ray of love that traces itself through all of God’s word and penetrates human hearts with its warmth. Praise God!