Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: May 2. 5th Sun Easter (C). Acts 14:21-27. Psalm
145:8-9.10-11.12-13. Rev. 21:1-5. John 13:31-33.34-35.
Easter gives us the freshness of springtime and of new beginnings.
The readings for this Sunday all deal with the theme of newness, vigor, and
freshness. We are blessed to be inundated not only by the readings but by
nature’s gift of verdant fields, flowers, and parfumed aroma of lilacs.
The theme of newness is very evident and we can use it as a background for
the Easter motivation we need. There are however some other valuable
teachings, sayings, and revelations from the same readings.
First, from the Acts we travel with Barnabas and Paul from one
Antioch back to the central Antioch in Syria where the gathering of those
who believed in Jesus was named Christian for the first time. Barnabas and
Paul share this motivational spiritual advice with us, “We must undergo
many trials if we are to enter the reign of God.” That will become evident
as we move into the middle of the Acts of the Apostles in our daily
The responsorial psalm has as its foundation the greatest of the
priestly blessings taken from the book of Numbers 6:22-27 which is called
the Aaronic benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you and be gracious to
you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. And
they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”
The psalm most likely was composed by one of the priests of the temple or
one of the Levites. We catch the echo of this blessing in the Psalm when it
says, ” Our Lord is gracious and merciful… The Lord is good to all and
compassionate toward all his works.”
The Book of Revelation is both a vision of the Church and a great
book of worship. Its central message is “Worship God alone.” We read of
the struggle that Paul and Barnabas mention and eventually see the victory
in the Church coming down as a bride adorned for her spouse, the Son of
God, the Lamb of God. We are reminded again of the covenant:”This is God’s
dwelling among men. He shall dwell with them and they shall be his people
and he shall be their God who is always with them.”
All of the themes are summed up in Jesus’ giving us the commandment,
a new commandment of Agape Love. This is how we are to be identified as
faithful to Jesus and his commandments by the way we show love not only to
one another as Christians but to everyone. Jesus even extended this
commandment to love of our enemies. No wonder Paul and Barnabas warned us
that we are to undergo many trials if we are to enter the realm of God.