Thoughts on the Readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter (C) 2016

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050116.cfm

Today we celebrate the 6th Sunday of Easter.   Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension and then we close the Easter season with the celebration of Pentecost.   In our Gospel today we read from what is referred to as Jesus’ farewell discourse.  In movies the farewell scene is often the time when the hero or heroine says something especially important and moving.  I suspect they got this idea from Jesus’ farewell discourse.  

In this Gospel Jesus reminds us of four important things. 1. “Whoever loves me will keep my word.”  2. He will send “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit” to “teach you everything and to remind you of all that I told you.”  3. Peace is Jesus’ farewell gift to his disciples “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world give do I give it to you.”  4.  He has told us this “before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”   These words are important and they remind us that even though Jesus is not physically present with us, he is still with us nonetheless.   And because of the gift of the Holy Spirit we are enabled and empowered to live as his disciples.  

Once again this Sunday our first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.  It reminds us that differences and disagreements within our Church are not something new.   It tells of a division within the early Christian community as to whether new Christians had to be “circumcised according to the Mosaic practice.”  The matter was resolved when the apostles and elders sent Judas and Silas to tell the people:  “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place any burden beyond these necessities, namely to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage.  If you keep free of these you will be doing what is right.”  

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation.   It is a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, except there was no temple: “for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. What would be important for you to tell people in your farewell discourse?
  2. What is unique about the peace Jesus offers us? 
  3. Why do you think some people have difficulty accepting differences and disagreements in our Church? 
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