The readings of this Sunday of Easter, the sixth, once again are moving us forward and also looking backwards in a sense. Acts once again shows us the early church acting as community, welcoming back Paul and Barnabas whom they had sent out as their representatives. These glimpses of the early church are filled with energy and eagerness to announce the good news even to the Gentiles. The excitement and joy are tangible and the community is totally engaged in announcing the good news.
The words from Revelation have us jumping far forward to the image of the heavenly Jerusalem in all its radiance. That heavenly city, its foundation resting on the twelve tribes of Israel, is also the city whose temple is the Lord God and the Lamb. Its light is the glory of God and its lamp, the Lamb. Our hearts jump within us as we yearn for the day when we will all be gathered around the Lamb. One can be overwhelmed by these images from Revelation.
Jesus speaks the words of John 14 in the sacred moment of the Last Supper. Jesus chose to speak of love and of making our dwelling with him. While he is painfully aware that he will be leaving the disciples and that they will be troubled and afraid, even at this painful moment, he leaves them the gift of peace. He promises the Holy Spirit will come and teach them everything. Here, Jesus is showing them, and us, the path into the future.
Our hearts can be a little “down” as we sense the Easter season is drawing to a close but this Sunday’s readings are full of the promise and joy of Easter, of the Risen One. We are Easter people. The Spirit dwells within us and we live every moment in relationship with Jesus… who is alive! We continually meet him in the Eucharist, in our daily living, and on the faces of all those we meet.
In reflecting on these readings, I remembered that a long time ago, there was a strange custom of the Paschal candle being extinguished on Ascension Thursday, as if Jesus had left us, as if the light had left us. That is not true! We move forward knowing that Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Risen Lord is with us, every moment, until the end of the earth. Alleluia! Jesus is Risen and is in our midst and in our hearts. Alleluia!
- Sister Marian Baumler, SSMN
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221