May 14, Sunday of the 6th week of Easter
Daily Readings: First Reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 2nd Reading: 1 Pet 3:15-18; Gospel: John 14:15-21
The First Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, narrates the ministry of Philip, one of the seven deacons, in Samaria. Philip fulfills everything that Jesus was able to perform, and Jesus’ words in John 14:12, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater than these,” become a reality. The Word of God in Mark 16:20, too, becomes a fact, “And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.” The news of Philip’s ministry brings cheer among the apostles, who send Peter and John to follow it up. They come, pray, and lay their hands on the Samaritans. Instantly, they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to boost their baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. It is Pentecost for them. The event becomes a trend-setting one in the early Church.
The Second Reading from the First Letter of St. Peter is an exhortation to the believers. The human heart is the sanctuary where God lives. Therefore, we are to sanctify (make holy) Christ as Lord. We will become apologists who defend our faith in Christ with gentleness and reverence. Maintaining a clear conscience is a must. This is what will save us when we are backstabbed. Since Jesus Christ defined the meaning of suffering, Peter says with conviction that it is better to suffer for God and to do God’s will. The righteous one sustained the entire unrighteousness. We should never allow suffering to taint our souls. It is because Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but the spirit of God made him alive. In the same way, we should allow the spirit of God to work not only in us but also in and through us!
The Gospel Reading contains Jesus’ answer to Philip's request to show him the Father. Jesus’ reply is rich. He assures us that although he goes back to his Father, he cannot abandon the community, and therefore he will do two things:
(i) He will be the sole Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and later (ii) He will return. But the believing community must continue to love Jesus by keeping/observing the commandments (v. 15). Jesus repeats the same message in Versus 21 in a reversed manner: “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me, and my Father will love those who love me, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Who really loves Jesus? The answer is the one who observes the commandments of Jesus. What do I receive because I love Jesus? God the Father will love me; Jesus will love me and reveal himself to me.
What else do I need in my life? Then I can declare with a profound faith like King David, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Ps 23:1).
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.