1 Pt 3:15-18
This Sunday completes the season of the Church’s celebration of the Resurrection and its meaning for Christian life. It is a transition between the departure of Jesus’ physical presence to his followers and the birth of the Church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be celebrated next Sunday – the feast of Pentecost.
The readings for this Sunday remind us that even though Jesus is not with us in his human body, we are still connected to him and to each other in prayer. The first reading tells of how after Jesus’ physical presence is no longer with them, his followers grow in community by praying together. The second reading reminds us to glorify God always, even when we are suffering. In the gospel, at the end of the Last Supper discourse, Jesus prays as he prepares to leave his followers.
In the gospel Jesus speaks of glory when he prays, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you.” What does glory mean? For people of John’s and Jesus’ time and place, glory meant the visible manifestation of God’s presence and power. Jesus knows that his life and ministry reflected his glory in relationship to the Father and through his ministry with his relationship to his disciples. This helps us to understand that now the purpose of the Church is the primary way that his ministry and that glory continue through the words and actions we use to continue Jesus’ ministry in our own time and place.
It is our responsibility to continue this mission Jesus started by loving God and one another. We are called to work for peace and justice in our world. We do this by practicing forgiveness and mercy. We have a responsibility to help those who are poor, oppressed and in need of our assistance. We welcome the stranger and refugees and treat them with compassion. We stand against racism and treat all persons with respect. We deepen our relationship with God by educating our faith through prayer, spiritual reading and the study of Scripture, reflecting and meditating on God’s word. We pray for each other and ask for the prayers and intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints.
We are the Church. Let God’s presence, glory and power shine through each of us.
In what ways do you continue the ministry of Jesus and the Church?
How do you continue to nourish your faith?