May 12, 2024

MESSAGE – Seventh Sunday of Easter – Year B – Sunday 12 May 2024

MESSAGE – Seventh Sunday of Easter – Year B – Sunday 12 May 2024

As the Easter season draws to a close, the final challenge of this part of the readings, before turning to Pentecost, is for us to commit to Christlike holiness – which, as it turns out, is also a call to unity and community.

Two themes: Holiness and Unity

1. Holiness:

In Acts, the apostles seek to complete their number again in order to continue Christ’s work effectively. In Psalm 1 the righteous person is praised and revealed to be one who bears fruit and who is truly blessed. In John’s letter, the holy person is shown to be one who receives God’s testimony about Jesus and who receives life from Jesus. Finally, in Jesus’ prayer in John 17, Jesus asks that God would keep his disciples safe and would make them holy through God’s truth in God’s word.

2. Unity:

Unity with God and with one another, which flows out of the call to love of the previous few weeks in our readings. In Acts, the unity of the apostles is extended to include the new appointment of Matthias. In Psalm 1, the righteous person is one who rejects the company of the wicked but who, unlike the wicked, finds a place among the company of the righteous. In John’s letter, believing in Jesus as the one who brings life connects us with God and in Jesus’ prayer in John 17, Jesus prays for the unity of the disciples with one another even as he is one with God. In the end, these two themes merge and become one, because it is in our union with God and one another that true holiness is expressed and lived. It is wickedness that divides and separates, while holiness unites and joins and creates community.

The message of the readings this week, then, is for us to embrace the life that God gives us in Christ and allow it to bring us into loving communion with God and with others.