Gospel, Readings and Reflection 15.5.22

Fifth Sunday of Easter

 

Lectionary: 54

Reading I

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news
to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God.”
They appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm

R (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.

Reading II

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”  John 13:31

It is essential to know the end of the story.  Jesus knew the end when He spoke these words to the Apostles at the Last Supper right after Judas left to go and betray Him.  It’s important to put this situation within the context that Jesus understood it.  From a purely human point of view, one of Jesus’ closest friends was about to betray Him for money.  For most of us this would have been devastating and the cause for anger and hurt.  But because Jesus knew the end of the story, He was able to see Judas’ betrayal as the means to His glorification, not His defeat.  He turned His eyes toward Heaven and all that He would accomplish through His suffering rather than look at the immediate pain He would soon endure.

This is a powerful lesson for us all.  First, it’s essential that we look at Jesus’ glorification through His betrayal, suffering and death.  But we must also strive to see the potential that our own sufferings have when united to the Savior of the World.

How do you react when another sins against you?  How would you have reacted to Judas betraying your love?  This is a very difficult question to face in honesty and it is even harder to live the response that Jesus lived.  The truth is that every time we are mistreated by another, we are given an opportunity to glorify God and further the Kingdom of Heaven by forgiving, uniting our suffering with Christ’s, and offering mercy.  This is much easier to speak about than to live.

Reflect, today, upon this scene of the Gospel.  Gaze upon Judas leaving the Last Supper and going out into the night to betray our Lord.  But look at it in the way Jesus saw it.  Look at it with the understanding that this was the means chosen by the Father to bring salvation to the world.  Reflect, also, upon every opportunity that you are given to do as Jesus did.  Try to be concrete and specific and see any and every suffering you endure as a glorious opportunity to dispense the mercy of God.  Though this may be difficult at first, it is this act of love that will give great glory to the Father in Heaven!

Prayer

My dear Lord, You were betrayed by the kiss of one of Your closest friends.  But in Your perfect wisdom, You saw this betrayal as the perfect opportunity to glorify the Father through Your mercy and forgiveness.  Lord, I also have betrayed You countless times.  For that reason I am sorry.  But I thank You for loving me and forgiving me with Your Heart of perfect mercy.  Help me to receive that mercy and to offer it to others who have sinned against me.  Jesus, I trust in You.