Daily Readings Reflection for 5/11/11


Scripture: Lectionary 275: Acts 8:1-8. Psalm 66:1-3,4-5,6-7. John 6:35-40

Today’s Readings

Chapter eight weighs heavy upon us as we hear of widespread persecution
that involves one persecutor who will become the hero of most of the Acts
of the Apostles that unfold in chapters nine through twenty-eight.  “Saul,
for his part, concurred in the act of killing (St. Stephen). That day saw
the beginning of a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem. All except
the apostles scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and
Samaria.” (Acts 8:1). The bold preaching and the supportive faith
communities kept the mission of the Holy Spirit alive in the reality of
Jesus’ Resurrection. He was for the Christian-Jews and the incoming
Gentiles the longed for Anointed One, the Messiah. Saul, had great zeal for
his Pharasaical religious convictions and he sought out these Christians
and had them imprisoned. He was feared by all.

Philip now enters the scenes as the second of the Spirit-filled “deacons”
who not only minister to the poor and serve at the table of the widows, but
also preaches and performs miracles. It is he who will be featured for a
few paragraphs in the Acts as he preaches in Samaria and then converts the
eunuch who is heading back to Ethiopia. Such preaching leads others into
the newly formed communities of faith where they pray, break bread
together, and then go out to witness to all that Jesus said and did. Saul
will be converted and becomes the great apostle to the Gentiles. God works
silently underneath the crooked lines of human history to inspire those who
are cooperating agents in the redemptive plan of salvation history.

In the selection from John we continue to learn more of the Bread of Life
through the living words of Jesus the Word of God.  The discourse on the
Eucharist continues with Jesus giving us more to think about and then to
experience through faith in his Person as the Christ, the Bread of our
life.  If they and we believe then we will never taste eternal death, but
eternal life just as Jesus does in his resurrection.  He will feed us with
himself as the Bread of Life and as the Fountain of Living waters–through
the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. He promises us to lose no
one who believes in him and whom the Father has given to him.  We are to do
the will of the Father and to believe in his son Jesus in order to
experience our own resurrection on the last day. Easter continues through
the sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Baptism.  Amen.


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