Easter: Joy! Hope! Marana tha!

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” They appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Revelation 21:1-5A

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

John 13:31-33A, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Already through 4 consecutive Easter Sundays the Church faithful have heard good news one after another through the gospel readings:

  • Easter Sunday – Jesus’ resurrection;
  • 2nd Sunday of Easter – The apostles were given the authority to forgive and retain sins after receiving the Holy Spirit from the risen Christ; Jesus’ divinity acknowledged by Thomas;
  • 3rd Sunday of Easter – Peter’s reconciliation with Jesus after denying him three times, and as the Church leader was given the important role of keeping and feeding Jesus’ sheep;
  • 4th Sunday of Easter – Jesus the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and will not let them perish.

Only four weeks ago, the force of evil was the order of the day. Confusion reigned. “What is truth?” Pilate blurted in exasperation (cf. John 18:38). Men killed the Son of God who came to save them.

Now more good news are on the way in this events-filled period of the Church’s liturgical year: Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to begin a new era of the Church on the sixth Sunday of Easter, the Ascension, and then the Pentecost! With renewed hopes and joyful hearts that Easter brings, let’s join the Church, the Bride, to pray for the return of her Groom: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20) Amen! Marana tha! (CCC1130)

Posted: April 24, 2016

Edmond Lo

 
As a Catholic speaker, writer and RCIA Catechist, Edmond is very active in promoting and defending the Catholic faith. He has a MBA, a CPA-CMA, and a MTS (Master of Theological Studies) from U.T., St. Augustine's Seminary. Having worked many years as the CFO of a non-profit organization, he retired at 55 to follow his special vocation of evangelization. The activities he conducts include the CMCC Bible Study Program, the Catechism Revisited Program, the FLL Spiritual Formation Program, Living in the Holy Tradition, RCIA, family groups and retreats, etc. Edmond is a member of the FLL Core Team. He writes Sunday Mass reflections regularly for the weekly FLL NewSpiration. His personal blog: http://elodocuments.blogspot.com/


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