Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
May 24 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 1:1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12,19-20
1 John 4:11-16
A reflection on today's Scripture:
As children or adult converts, we learned that the distinguishing marks of our Church are: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. This week's readings emphasize the apostolic nature of the Catholic Church.
After the Ascension, the apostles felt a sense of grief and loneliness. Since Jesus had promised to send them the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide them, they gathered with Mary in the upper room to pray and await His coming.
First, however, they felt it necessary to round out their numbers again to twelve. We may well wonder why the number twelve was so important. Scholars are generally in agreement that Jesus Himself carefully chose twelve to fulfill the mission of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In any case, the Holy Spirit chose Matthias. In choosing Matthias, they established a key criterion for an apostle. He must have accompanied the others the whole time, and have been a witness to the Resurrection. Listeners of the Gospel would be strongly drawn to believe those who, with their own eyes, had seen Jesus alive in His own body. Even Thomas had believed when he saw the wounds of His Lord and Savior.
The Gospel continues from last week the farewell address of Jesus at the Last Supper. "Consecrate them in the truth," Jesus prays. All successors of the apostles are so consecrated. Truth is the one great divine force which will assure the unity of the infant church. "One faith, one Lord, one Baptism" binds all who would be faithful branches on the Vine which is Christ. We have seen through the ages from the beginning how deviation from Christ's teaching tears asunder the solidarity of one Church. Christian bodies generally separate from this unity on one or another point of doctrine. The physical unity of Christ's church will only be restored when there is a return to consensus on all aspects of the "deposit of faith."
Today's second reading from the first letter of John provides the key to unity in truth and adherence to authority through the great prayer of Jesus to "remain in my love." All of us must struggle to be ourselves faithful and obedient witnesses to a church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, May 24, 2009
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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