Sunday 22 April 2018

Fourth Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018

Fourth Sunday of Easter Sunday 2018

Last weekend we celebrated our youngest daughters first communion. This weekend we are visiting a friend's church for their son's first communion. Sacramental season is upon us. Our church has three weekends in a row for first communions, for each of the primary schools associated with our parish. This will be followed by the three confirmation weekends. A few weeks break and then masses for each graduation class. This week's readings tie in nicely to the theme of first communion. We have Peter and John preaching and healing. From the first letter of Saint John we have our adoption into the family of God. And from the Gospel we have Jesus the good shepherd, and we are his flock.

First Reading Acts 4:7-12
Responsorial Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26,28-29 Response 22
Second Reading 1 John 3:1-2
Gospel John 10:11-18

This week as I read through these readings a few times so much jumped out at me. From the first reading was how much peter and John have changed. From denying Jesus, and hiding in the upper room, to boldly preaching the gospel. But We are filled with the same spirit! The Holy Spirit that empowered and emboldened them, is the same spirit we receive at baptism and confirmation. And this passage ends with quoting our response Psalm 118:22
"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."
But I was also encouraged by the haling that the two men performed. But healings can be physical as seen in this instance or spiritual. I have seen in my life miracles, of both physical healing, and spiritual healing. Sometimes the healing is the grace to take the suffering and unite it with Christ on the cross. Other times it is physical healing, as we see in this instance. I have a friend who in University was addicted to pornography. This was the late 80's so it was not the internet or late-night television like today. And one Sunday during the homely he felt a fire go through him, and he never struggled with it again. That is an immediate miraculous healing. The freedom he was given was something he had not experienced in years. (and I know today there are many books, groups and programs around porn addiction and it's impact, but that was not the case then.) His freedom that Sunday was no less than the physical healing that Peter and John brought. 

The second reading is one of the shortest we encounter all year. Two verses, and yet they pack so much punch!
"Beloved:See what love the Father has for us,that we should be called children of God,and that is what we are.The reason the world does not know usis that it did not know him.Beloved, we are God's children now,what we will be has not yet been revealed.What we do know is this;when he is revealed, we will be like him,for we will see him as he is."
And then we arrive at the Gospel. Jesus our Good shepherd.

Prayers for blessings on your this week, or when you read this short reflection. May God open your eyes and may you be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit and become as bold as Peter and John. 

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