Reflection on the Daily Readings for 5/09/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Saturday of 4th week after Easter. Acts 13:44-52. Psalm 98: 1,
2-3.3-4. John 14:7-14. Lectionary # 284:
Two possible themes from the liturgy of the word today are mission
and prayer. In the Acts of the Apostles Paul and Barnabas are now
proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah; they are doing this in the
synagogues on each sabbath, but now opposition is surfacing and they are
forced to leave and head toward Iconium. Their missionary journey to the
Gentiles or nations now begins and the Gentiles are overjoyed at this new
venture of the apostles and the invitation made to them as non-Jews.
Jealousy was one of the factors that led to their being sent away from
preaching in the synagogues. They nevertheless go on boldly proclaiming
that Jesus is Lord and Messiah and that he is risen from the dead. Our last
verse tells us why they were so persistent:”The disciples (Paul and
Barnabas) could not but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52).
Peace, joy,and love are the effects of the Spirit in their hearts; then
they are driven by the Spirit to preach the good news elsewhere, in fact,
everywhere. They fulfill both the Hebrew Scriptures and what is being
formed as the New Testament which will say about them, “I have made you a
light to the nations; a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.”
The Psalm expresses this in an inclusive way: “The Lord has made
known his salvation in the sight of the nations he has revealed his
justice. He has remembered his kindness (chesed) and faitfhulness (’emunah)
toward the house of Israel. These two Hebrew words are central to the
covenant God makes with Israel. The latter word gives us the word Amen
which is always related to trust and belief in God. Covenantal renewal is
essential to both Judaism and Christianity.
Jesus continues his discourse about his returning to the Father. Some
of the strongest statements that he is the revelation of God himself are in
this discourse. Jesus and the Father are mutually in each other (v.11) yet
Jesus must go to the Father, for “the Father is greater than I.” (v.28).
The mystery of Jesus being both God and man is revealed in this discourse.
Yet, only faith can in someway fathom what this means and how we are to
respond to it. In believing that Jesus is both human and divine we renew
our covenant and say Amen.