FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

May 14, 2017

Acts 6:1-7

 

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

 

Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

 

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.
    

Praise befits the upright.

Praise the Lord with the lyre;
    

make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.

For the word of the Lord is upright,
    

and all his work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;
    

the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

to deliver their soul from death,
    

and to keep them alive in famine.

 

1 Peter 2:4-9

 

Beloved:

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
 a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
 has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

 

John 14:1-12

 

 

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.  Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

(NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

It is a modern illness that we cannot believe a lot of what we hear or read. Lying, agenda, and bias are rampant in our news, journalism, and public figures. It may be prudent to have some skepticism about other people but we have to make sure we don’t project an attitude of unbelief onto God. We can trust God.

 

Today we hear the emotional content in Jesus’ words to us. He is talking to us so directly asking a question that transcends time. Do you not believe me?

 

We know ourselves that it can hurt when people do not trust us: when we offer ourselves in friendship but are rejected, when we expect that our hard work will be noticed but is taken for granted, when we assume that there is appreciation for our acts of kindness but they are never returned. We see that there is something broken in relationships and that can project itself onto our relationship with the Lord too. But it is Jesus who offers friendship, love, and works of mercy and we who can keep Him at a distance. 

 

Jesus tells us that He has come to show us the way to the Father, demonstrated through action. The true character of the Father is seen in the actions of Jesus like healing and forgiveness. We can trust that He wants us to be free, healed, peaceful, joyful and secure in Him.

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to trust your words to me so that I may receive the fullness of peace, knowing that your love can overcome anything. Make me someone who overcomes as your own beloved child. Forgive me for all the times I have doubted and did not have faith in you.  

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