SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B
16th May 2021
Acts 1:15-17,20-26; 1 John 4:11-16; John 17:11-19.
This Sunday falls between the Ascension Thursday and the Pentecost Sunday. The apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary are at the upper room in Jerusalem waiting in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy spirit. The three readings of this Sunday have one thing in common, prayer. The first reading form the Acts of the Apostles is a prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to replace Judas Iscariot. They needed to choose a person who has been with them the whole time from when John was baptising until the ascension of the Lord. Such a person can act as a witness to the Lord’s resurrection. The second reading is a prayerful appeal to love God by letting him live in us in order to share in his spirit. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him. The gospel accord to John the Evangelist is a prayer of Jesus Christ for his apostles as he is about to return to the Father. He prayed for them to be united in love under the protection of God. Through his ministry he has transformed the dark corners of our world. Evil and violence are no longer the powerful forces of our world. Through his resurrection, Jesus enthroned the most powerful force of divine love.
The expectation is that the divine love will impart the apostles of Jesus on the day of Pentecost in order to calm their fears and embolden them towards fearless preaching of the Good News of the kingdom. The resurrection of Jesus will be the point of reference for their preaching while love will be the character of the believers.
Through his prayer for his apostles, Jesus has prepared them for the great task ahead. Praying at the upper room is a serene atmosphere for openness and surrender. The apostles will surrender their fears, and anxieties in order to be open for the reception of the Holy Spirit. These nine days before the Pentecost Sunday is a time for us to imitate the apostles in order to receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.