Date: April 22, 2007
Readings: Acts 5:12-16 Psalm 118:2-24
Revelation 1:9-19 John 21:1-19
Jesus had told His disciples and Apostles, they would see greater miracles than the ones He performed. They didn't know He meant THEY would be the instruments of these glorious signs.
In this episode, read from ACTS, the Power of the Spirit is so great, hundreds of cures are effected. The simple expedient was the shadow of one of His disciples falling over them. At least, the common thought among them was," If only we can have their shadow fall on us" However, as Christians know, in retrospect, it was their Faith was the enabler of their own cure.
The Psalm is an appropriate follow-up, when collated with the first reading. Their faith induced their cure, however, in the final analysis, is God who allows these events to occur. The response message encourages, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever."
The book of Revelation is, at times scary. However, it is so full of symbols and symbolic language, we can easily be frightened, if we interpret what has been written, literally. The first paragraph, VS.9 of this periscope, describes who the writer is. His name is John, who has been exiled to a penal colony island, Patmos, with others who believe in Christ's resurrection and teaches others the same message.
A state of ecstasy is defined as "being outside one's self". We experience this phenomenon in dreams, both sleep time and in daydreams. The seven Churches is symbolic of all the Church. All the named areas are in Turkey. Once the bedrock of Christianity, now Christians suffer persecution because the area is Muslim which tries to suppress all other religions except Islam. The Lampstands are signs of the Church. The one like, the Son of Man' with all the accouterments of the ancient Father God, shows He is with the Church.
As the number seven (7) connotes completeness, seven lamp stands, and, seven stars meant the entire Church and the entire Universe. The two edged sword out of His mouth reminds us His word is not static but the messages are for all times and cuts in many ways to bring His holy message to the hearts of all believers. The person, John hears in his audio-visual, describes Himself as the first and the last. By these tokens, He proclaims His Omnipresence having always been and always being. He also says He was dead and now lives, an indication of His human nature, framed in His Divinity.
Chapter 21 of John's Gospel is thought, by many Scholars, to be a second Century addition to the closing verses of Chapter 20, the first natural ending. Several Johanine expressions seem inserted, by companions wanting to maintain John's theology. The catch of fish harkens us back to the disciples first encounter with Jesus' original call. They also caught a huge number of fish and left it all to catch men. The number 153 is symbolic of the number of churches in existence at the time John wrote his Gospel.
Peter's questioning by Jesus, relative to his love, is made up of several Greek words expressing love. Peter responds " YES " in every way while Jesus enjoins him to tend to His sheep. We are the recipients of this gift from God through His appointed ambassadors. Finally, Peter's crucifixion is foretold in the response to his old age when," You will stretch your hands and another will tie you fast".
What would be our response to Jesus? Do we love Him in all circumstances?
On this celebration of the 2nd Sunday in Easter time, may He grant us the grace to be able, always to respond, " You know I love You!".