After spending time with the Apostles after the Resurrection to prepare them for their mission, Jesus went back into heaven to get things ready for us. We need to remember that, just because he went to heaven, doesn’t mean he’s not still with us.
Born again Christians revile the idea that our salvation can be earned—Jesus himself gained salvation for us on the cross once and for all. You cannot do anything to “get” salvation. Guess what? We believe that, too! You can’t earn salvation. Ever. Under any circumstances. Jesus won it, invites us to share in it, and all we have to do to have it is say “yes.”
As we draw ever nearer to the Solemnity of Pentecost, our readings prepare us for the coming of the Spirit. We get a biblical glimpse of Confirmation, are reminded of what our conduct should be as followers of Christ, and are re-affirmed in our keeping of Jesus’ commandments.
“Mommy, where do deacons come from?” Today’s first reading tells us that very thing! We get an idea of what it means to live “diakonia”; Christian service, and how to let God build us into “a spiritual house”; shelters for the poor and needy. Jesus tells us that besides us being a home for others, he built a home for us in heaven.
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter and Good Shepherd Sunday. We remember that Jesus takes care of us when we are helpless and gives us a friendly voice to follow when we’re scared. It’s a good week to think about who Jesus has given to us to be shepherds in our daily lives, and who we have been asked to shepherd.
The Resurrection is such a huge event, it takes a lot to unpack and understand it. We continue this task by hearing stories about how the Apostles and disciples managed it. Our Gospel this week reminds us that the best way to process it is by celebrating the Eucharist—by hearing the stories retold and breaking bread together.
May the Fourth be with you! You may be tempted to reply, “And with your spirit” (unless you haven’t been to church in a while…then you’d say, “And also with you.”), but instead reply with some of these fun activities!
My second appearance on the All Who Wander Podcast from Geekdom House! We talk about The Two Towers movie.
As we continue to celebrate the Easter season, we are offered a set of readings that remind us of who we are called to be as a Christian community. Since we all share in the one Spirit of Jesus, we should have much in common. As we continue to grow together, our community should reflect that oneness, and also allow for the differences we each have in our personal journeys.
Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Echoing today’s Psalm, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Jesus’ good news is our good news, too. Christ’s victory over death means everlasting life for all of us. Let us rejoice and be glad!