Homily :: May 14, 2017
05/14/17: Fifth Sunday of Easter
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(6:45, 6.19 MB)
The proclamation from the Acts of the Apostles continues with the account of the community’s growth and need for ministers of service for the poor. The choosing of 7 people to “serve at table” indicates a diaconal ministry for taking care of the poor so the apostles could focus on the ministry of proclamation and preaching. Note that the prayer and the laying on of hands, an early witness to what would be come a developed ordination ritual, is here present in the biblical account.
The selection from the First Letter of Peter offers the kernel of what would become a developed understanding of the people as a royal priesthood and holy nation that would be set apart to give praise and glory to God. The author of this epistle, delineates for the fledgling first century Church its purpose of worship to God.
The selection from the fourth evangelist is part of the farewell discourse of Jesus situated after the last supper. Jesus assures the disciples that he is “the way, the truth and the life” and that he is showing the disciples (and community) the way to God the Father. This text indicates that Jesus is the only way to come to knowledge and communion with God. John is writing late in the first century, a generation or more removed from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. He encourages the disciples (community) not to lose heart but to persevere and grow in knowledge of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
For the third millennium followers of Jesus, encouragement is given to take up the ministry of service to a broken world and be signs and symbols of Christ’s presence by our care for one another and those who have no voice.
By Dale J. Sieverding © 2008, OCP. All rights reserved.