Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A; Reflections- Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo
Readings: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-5,18-19; 1 Pet 2::4-9 and John 14:1-12
Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life
Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. And as we approach the mysteries of the Ascension and the Pentecost in the coming weeks our Sunday readings are also pointing towards nourishing us with the fruits and effects of these mysteries, lived by Christ.
Starting from the early church and with the spread of Christianity there is nothing that we would accomplish in this life without Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and without the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This is true with the choice of Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicarnor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, the seven deacons in today’s first reading. These men were not selected to serve the poor and the needy because they were vested with worldly politics and secular shrewdness or filled with themselves. Scripture tells us that these men were selected because they were filled the Holy Spirit.
Read Galatians chapter 5 verse 22 to see the fruits of this Holy spirit- they include, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, chastity.
These are what we also find in Christ who is the Way. We find Life. We find Truth, Peace, Hope, Joy, happiness, Faithfulness, Honesty, Chastity and the dignity of our Christian calling.
When we look around the complexity of our human relationship,we encounter the stories of unfaithfulness that fills the media. There are thousands of them. But take for example the recent ones- the media stories of Arnold Schwarzenegger, that of the IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn or the ongoing cases of sexual abuse by priests, or the high rate of divorce and separation among couples. What about children picking up unnecessary fights with their parents. Or when I am nasty, ungentle, arrogant, unforgiving, selfish, domineering, or impatience with my neighbors, or living in fear that the world was going to end yesterday- they all point to the fact that the Way of Christ is not always easy without the grace of God.
As Thomas and Philip would have asked Jesus today for the “Way” and the Knowledge of the “Father” let us pray at this Mass for the grace to recognize that we are a holy nation, a people part to praise and worship God (1 Pet 2:4-9), to love Him and follow His Ways.
And may the mercy of God be upon us (Ps 33:22)so that as we travel the way, the road, be it the high way, the narrow avenues or the bumpy or smooth streets of life, may we always pattern our choices, our opinions and life- style after the examples of Christ who is the ideal Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:1-12)