Daily Readings Reflection for 4/22/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 4/22/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings


Scripture: Wed. of Second Week of Easter. Acts 15:17-26. Psalm
34:2-3.4-5.6-7.8-9. John 3:16. Lectionary # 269:

For many Christians John 3:16 is a favorite text because of its
assurance that salvation is obtained through a personal belief in Jesus
Christ. It is a powerful text worthwhile memorizing and living out within
the context of what the other readings say. “Yes, God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not die but have
eternal life.” This is a text that also is at the heart of the Easter
Season and is a continuation of the thought already given in the dialogue
of Jesus with Nicodemus and then Jesus’ habit of breaking into a monologue,
leaving the listener spellbound. That monologue is directed to us and has
a trans-temporal value for it reaches the one who is listening no matter in
what time or place they lived. The texts of chapter three help us to see
Jesus’ victory over death, evil, ignorance, and sin. It certainly is one of
the most encouraging verses in all of the Bible.

The apostles took such belief and then lived it out in their witness
as a community of bold preachers and doers of the word. The Word, that is
Jesus, is for them a transforming of their former ways of living and
acting. Now they are on fire with the Holy Spirit and live boldly for
Jesus. They had just been arrested and put in prision but miraculously are
freed. They return to where they had been preaching in the Temple area and
again people gather. The authorities realize they are the same people who
were behind prison doors, but here they are preaching again in the Name of
Jesus. The wanted to share the meaning of the verse above about how much
God loves us through Jesus’ Name.

These were for the most part simple people, fishermen and women
servants for the rich. Despite their being among the “Poor of
Yahweh”–those who depend completely and solely on God, they are able to
convince others and lead them to embrace Baptism in the Name of Jesus. The
response verse and the verses of our Psalm for today is excellent for
bringing out the meaning of the above readings. “The Lord hears the cry of
the poor.” These apostles got others to share everything in common, to be
bold in their witness, and to embrace the mission Jesus gave them to go out
and baptize people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). They came to realize that the Psalm also
in their way of reading it speaks of the bread of life they shared in
common, the Eucharist: “Taste and see how God the Lord is –happy are they
who take refuge in the Lord.” As Easter people we learn from these
readings how we are to do and speak as they did in our life style and our
sharing the Good News about Jesus. Amen.

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