5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
1st Reading: Acts 6:1-7
As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
2nd Reading: 1P 2:4-9
Beloved: Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in Scripture: Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame. Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, a stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall. They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny. You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Gospel: Jn 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
The Gate to God the Father: Jesus being both divine and human makes him to be the perfect link between God and humanity. In Jesus, God and humanity do meet. Therefore, if a person wants to go to God he or she must pass through Jesus. Jesus acts as a bridge link between us and God. Jesus is the way to God the Father and no one can go to God except through him (John 14:6). The first thing that is required for one to go to God the Father through Jesus is to have faith in Jesus that does not waver. The second thing that is needed is to be ready to carry on with the work that Jesus himself had started and continues to do through his Church. That is, one has to continue to proclaim the Word of God and not to let anything stop one from proclaiming God’s word (Acts 6:2). Proclaiming the word of God should be a priority for anyone who wants to go to God the Father through Jesus. A Christian proclaims the word of God by being faithful to his or her Christian life. A person who does not live according to his or her faith as a Christian, cannot claim that he or she wants to go to God the father. By living according to one’s Christian faith the person becomes a member of our chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation a people who announce God’s praises (1 Pet 2:9). Living according to one’s Christian faith is possible if one has faith in God through Jesus. Without faith in Jesus a person cannot claim that he or she wants to go to God the Father through Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, may all people acknowledge that they can come to you only through your son Jesus