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Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

5th Sunday of Easter, Year C
Acts 14:21-27
Revelation 21:1-5a
John 13:31-33a, 34-35
April 28, 2013

We need hope.

We live in a world of turmoil.  Bad things happen.  Bombings in Boston, the explosion in Texas, and the possibility of nuclear and chemical warfare.

There is much illness.  Medical Science is making great advances but even as advances are made, new illnesses are diagnosed.

There are whole countries in financial turmoil.  There are individuals who don’t have a job or a sufficient job to provide for family needs.

In all of this we need hope.  Our second reading today comes from the Book of Revelation.  It’s sometimes used at funerals.  It offers us hope in the life to come, something crucial for us to know at the time of death.

The setting comes after the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus has already come into the world to begin something new but that something new is not fully achieved yet.

Revelation speaks of the New Jerusalem where there will be no more death, mourning, wailing, or pain.  We still know mourning, wailing, and pain so we know that this vision is not fulfilled yet.

Revelation often speaks of how there will be no death.  We still know death but after Jesus’ teaching, death, and resurrection, we see it very differently.  Death no longer defines us because Jesus has shown us something more.

Jesus speaks of how God is glorified in Him and He is glorified by God.  How is God glorified in Jesus?  Because Jesus does the Father’s Will.

In doing the Father’s Will, Jesus is showing us His trust in the Father.  Jesus shows us that there is something more to life than what we see in this world, that the things of this world in which we live does not define us.

This is our faith.  We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are called in Baptism to share our faith.  The Acts of the Apostles is the story of how the early disciples shared the faith Jesus had given them.

Note it wasn’t just about bringing the faith to new people.  Today we hear how Paul doesn’t just go evangelize a town and then move on, never to return.  He returns to the places he has visited.  In fact, all but one of the letters of Paul that we have, were written to communities Paul had already visited.

Paul keeps evangelizing new people but he also continues to evangelize those who he has already visited.

We are called to share our faith with people who don’t know it.  That can be heard.  We don’t know where to begin the conversation.  But we must.

The best way to share our faith is in the natural moments of life.  It begins as simple as when someone we know faces a new suffering, we can tell them we will pray for them.  That simple comment can open the door to conversation.  Do we have to teach them all the doctrines of the church?  No.

The best thing we can do is to tell them what our faith means to us.  In doing so, we glorify God.

In doing so we can be strengthened in our own faith.  I already spoke of how Paul sometimes returned to people he had already visited or wrote them letters to strengthen them in their faith.

We need to be constantly strengthened in our faith.  We don’t just receive faith in an instant and live it perfectly forever.  We need to keep coming back to be strengthened in our faith.

Coming to church once in a while isn’t enough.  We need it on a regular basis to help us stay in tune with the Father’s Will.  When we face a tragedy, we need to know that God was present.

When we already have faith and hope, when tragedy happens, we can know God is there.  It’s not that we will ever understand why God allows bad things to happen.  It’s about trusting in God.  In showing trust we glorify God and God will glorify us.

 

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