Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Ciclo A Acts of the Apostles 6, 1-7: They elected seven men full of the Spirit The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith. Responsorial Psalm 32: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. 1Peter 2, 4-9: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood Jhon 14, 1-12: I am the way, the truth and the life Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.
Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R./ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
R./ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 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 says in Scripture: Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall.
They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.
You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.”
Jesus said to him, AI am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip?
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 speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Ciclo A
Acts of the Apostles 6, 1-7: They elected seven men full of the Spirit
The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Responsorial Psalm 32: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
1Peter 2, 4-9: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood
Jhon 14, 1-12: I am the way, the truth and the life
Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
In the first reading, the apostles learn that they cannot do everything by themselves to meet the urgent needs of the community and attend to the ministry of the Word. That is why they invite the community to choose their own servers and helpers. They do so and present to them seven people. The Apostles then give them the task of meeting the needs of the community, exercising different ministries. With that help, the disciples can preach and spread the Word better and help the community grow in number and quality.
Peter's letter stresses that the role of all believers in the community should be to build the living temple of God. Jesus is the foundation, the base, and the living stone of the house of God. On him, other stones, the followers of Jesus are installed. We are not just spectators in the construction, we are both architects and building material in this human building: we are built on the rock, Jesus Christ, sustained by the Holy Spirit and our columns are structured in the active support of all the baptized. The priesthood should not be seen as an honor, a privilege or a caste; it is a dynamism promoted by the Spirit to serve in and with the church to the whole human community. We are all ministers, priests and servers and we should put our fraternal experience to the service of the Kingdom of God.
John reveals to us that the early and nascent community has to grow in a hostile and dangerous environment. They had to discover slowly that Jesus is not only the cornerstone, but is the way, the truth and the life. In this episode in which Jesus tells his disciples about Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, they get confused and enter into a crisis because they do not fully understand Jesus’ way. With his words, Jesus wants to encourage their hope, strengthen their faith in the midst of trouble, give them back the future and open their horizon of life.
- Jesus is the way because He embodies the plan of God that gives future and horizon of life to many and His death makes sense because through it, God's love is manifested to mankind, He gives us back a reason to live in times of confusion and despair.
-Jesus is the truth because in following Him, lies, deceit and the corruption of the heart of the human person disappears. His Word is the Word of the Father, the criterion of truth, transparency that becomes our guiding light.
-Jesus is life because He confronts peacefully the forces of death that cause terror. His passion, death and resurrection gives meaning to our lives, He is revealed as Lord of all life and conqueror of death. His followers opt for a life of truth and love to save humanity from chaos, injustice, corruption, exclusion and evil.
Who believes in Jesus believes in the Father and reflects Him fully, Risen. That's to be a Christian; it is the way of being sons and daughters of God in their fullness. Jesus’ plan of salvation is demanding and radical, linked and Integrated with the Community’s body; there and with others we will find our way, truth and life. It is a lifestyle that has to work with other lifestyles of people and communities from other religions, in the middle of a disoriented world that does not find the true meaning of life. We promote life even in the midst of death, of the human selfishness that disregards the divine wisdom present in "the many ways of God." This neglect of divine wisdom generates social injustice and wars in the name of freedom, security, democracy or "free market." Basically, these narrow, selfish economic and self-serving interests of rich nations unleash the hunger and misery of poor people and countries.
Our mission is to be an alternative of life, strength and hope for all, we can only do it by doing good always and working with many other people, other faith communities and the followers of other religions, speaking and acting with a language of love and faith in humanity in the many ways of God, "His ways are not our ways"
Oh God, incomprehensible mystery, elusive presence, ineffable love.
Help us to understand that Truth is beyond our formulations.
Help us to understand that you are The Lord of Life,
Help us to understand that the paths which lead us to you are endless.
Help us to understand your will and work with everyone to establish you Kingdom.
We ask this from our smallness, through Jesus, your son and our brother.