Homily Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A Following Jesus

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Homily Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A

Reading 1: The first five chapters of Acts reflect the ideal community. Everyone was of one mind and heart. It was like the honeymoon phase of the life of the early community. In chapter 6 we see that reality set in. We have the first major problem within the community of believers. Partiality was shown to the Hebrew widows and the Greek widows felt neglected.

This was the first major divisive element within. They had already experienced persecution externally. The Apostles chose to approach this internal strife the same way they did the external threats. They chose to be faithful to God’s call to them: to pray and proclaim the Word of salvation.

They recognized they could not do everything for the community. Thus, they delegated their authority and ministry to others in this matter. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the community chose seven men, who were filled with the Spirit and wisdom. These were ordained through the prayer and the laying on of hands by the Apostles. These were the first deacons.

Because the Apostles were obedient to the direction of the Lord as they continual to lead the community, the number of believers increased. We learn from this first reading: obedience to the Lord and the need to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in the decisions we make.

Gospel: This reading is rich in insight. 1) Because of our encounter with Christ we are called to put our faith in him. He has promised us to be with him. He goes before us to prepare a place for us in heaven. As a result we are to keep our true destiny in sight always before us. Do you believe?

2) How are we to express our faith? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Because he is the way, we are called to follow him as his disciples. Because he is the truth, we are called to live according to the teachings he has given us, especially the command to love. Because he is the life, we are called to share in his Divine Life, letting nothing separate us form God.

3) The way to know and see the Father is to know and live in Jesus. He reveals the Father to us through his love and actions. 4) To believe in Jesus means to do the works he did and far greater. Our relationship with Jesus is not a fuzzy, emotional feeling. Because of our faith in Jesus, we are called to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, as he did, and manifest the Father’s love, as he did. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now we need to step out of the boat like Peter and act in the name of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reading 2: As believers, who are we? We have been called out of the darkness of sin into the life of grace. How? We have had an encounter with Christ. First, Christ encountered us through the Sacrament of Baptism. We were reborn. It was Christ who chose us and called us to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.

Second, what should our response be? We are called to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus. Isn’t this what we are doing as we come together to celebrate this Eucharist? Third, we are also called to announce the praises of him, who has made a difference in our lives. In doing so, we recognize who we are in Christ as we seek to live accordingly.

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