(Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29 Revelation 21: 10-14, 22-23 John 14: 23-29)
The departure of a beloved one who provides the necessary needs of the dependents is very sad and disheartening. The news of the nearness of the obvious departure even causes so much anxiety. But there is so much hope and joy when the beloved dependable one promises support to continue with providing the necessary needs of the dependents.
The earthly departure of the physical life of Jesus is equally replaced by a spiritual presence of God among us. This is the promise of the Holy Spirit who is the Sacrament of the Communion of the Holy Trinity among us. With the Holy Spirit, the Church is built through the animation and sanctification of the same Holy Spirit. This is seen as the continuation and perpetuation of the mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet, and King to Sanctify, to Proclaim and to Govern. By the communion of the Holy Spirit among us, the Church is enabled by the same Holy Spirit through the reception of the various Sacraments of the Church to carry out this same mission of Christ in the world. With this in mind, we do not assume any form of evangelization, sanctification, and leadership which is not aided by the Holy Spirit; lest, we go about spreading our personal agenda which has nothing to do with the salvation of souls. This is what normally happens as we diminish the true importance of the need for us to allow ourselves to be filled, melted molded, used by the Holy Spirit to advance the building of the Church to the full stature of Christ.
(Acts 14: 21-27 Revelation 21: 1-5 John 13: 31-35)
The rejection of the Good News of Salvation is a cause of worry for those who place their total trust in it. But, this should not be a reason to be discouraged; rather, it must be a reason to be more serious with the approaches and the methodologies applied to its demonstration.
Spreading and living the Good News of Salvation can be effectively done through an act of love which is evaluated by the love of Jesus on the cross. It is the act of sacrificing all that we have and are with kind love for one another and the desire for the salvation of our souls that matter most when it comes to the Gospel Business. How can we only think of our own salvation by using our fortunes solely for ourselves to the neglect of others who might be poor both in spirit and body? We ought to attend to the spiritual and corporal needs of others if we want to make the Good News of Salvation acceptable and meaningful to all, especially those who live in darkness.
(Acts 13: 14, 43-52 Revelation 7: 9, 14-17 John 10: 27-30)
Education, literally, is an act of being led so as to lead others out from a mediocre to a matured state of life, especially when it comes to the proper use of our freewill. The lack of a systematic approach to education, in its literal and intensive senses, makes us tread pathways that have serious consequences in our lives; we become, so to speak, intransigently arrogant because we have no access to a tested way of life that yields good fruits. Jesus, gives us as a pattern of education that is meant to lead us out from the darkness of error to the light of truth by his own humility and obedience to the will of the Father. We ought to be humble, obedient and learn from a higher authority before we can think of leading others; otherwise, we shall blindly lead others with a high probability to an utter destruction.
Jesus Christ is our Authoritative Leader par excellence guarding and guiding us gently and safely on this earthly journey from the darkness of error to the light of truth. His leadership is confirmed on all the baptized to lead each and every soul to the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders hold a special place in leading souls to safety by their unique upbringing to govern, sanctify, and teach the Faithful with the deposit of faith. By exercising their sacerdotal roles, the Sacred Leaders help keep the Faithful in a state of grace as we all anticipate the encounter of the Good Shepherd, Jesus, someday. This preparation makes the Faithful experience on earth genuine joy and happiness, hallmarks of an eternal life, despite all the obvious tribulations and distresses that come with leading holy lives. Acknowledging one’s weakness and assenting to a higher authority, creates an environment to cooperate with the graces of God as we properly use our freewill to be obedient so that we can be led to be leaders of those entrusted to our care.
(Acts 5: 27-32, 40-41 Revelation 5: 11-14 John 21: 1-19)
The joy of Easter still abides with us. But, we must not only approach this joy with complacency and a passive attitude; rather, we must actively live out the same joy in our world so that those who are still confused and are downcast might see in us the need to let go their miseries in order to jump, as it were, into the boat of rejoicing that is destined to bring us to the shores of eternal bliss in heaven.
The majority of us parade ourselves so quickly as Christians; but the same majority are not so willing to be like Jesus by any measure. To be like Jesus is not just a matter of words; it is a full business of living out the life of Jesus as we strive each day to imitate him. This full Gospel Business is to lay down one’s life, as Jesus did, to serve the needs of others. One can do this by, first, stripping off one’s selfishness, and second, cooperating with the grace of God. In this case, whatever we do or say would be done to give an ultimate glory, blessing, and honor to God who has chosen us, mere earthly vessels, as bearers of the precious Good News of Salvation. We are the tangible reality of Jesus here and now. By being obedient, that is listening to God and allowing God’s will be done in a spirit of humility, we shall overcome all obstacles to live the Life of Christ in his Light as a way of giving a positive testimony to this full business of Christ’s Good News of Salvation.
(Acts 5: 12-16 Revelation 1: 9-13, 17-19 John 20: 19-31)
After celebrating the events that have brought about our redemption from eternal damnation because of the mercy and love of God, there is the need for us to celebrate this everlasting love and mercy of God, no matter what moment, situation and place we find ourselves.
Out of mercy and love, God has created and redeemed us. We are privileged to be users and stewards of his created beauty which is full of his glory without any cost to us. We lack nothing if we really appreciate who and what we are and have, and share the same with others without holding back anything to ourselves. We do this, despite the obvious accompanying pain and suffering, as a way of giving an eloquent witness to God’s mercy and love through Jesus who paid the ultimate price for our redemption. We cannot talk of the mercy and love of God if we do not believe it in our lives, and we cannot believe it if we do not have an experience of it. We experience love and mercy when we love others unconditionally, recognizing their misery, so that with the help of God we might salvage their miserable situations, for by the mercy of God our direst miseries have been salvaged.