Reflection for May 2022

Community Word
Missionaries of the Risen Christ serve God in love.
Order
“Feed my lamb…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:15-17)

Reflection
The liturgical readings after Easter strengthen our belief in eternal life and remind us of the post-Easter events in the resurrected life of our Lord Jesus, to heed and understand His exhortations and engrain them in our life. Jesus is the way to eternal life and He prepares us for the unending happiness in God’s kingdom. In Jesus, physical death is not the end but the beginning of everlasting life.
Jesus was sent by the Father to reveal the Word of God and to bring His love to the world. In turn, Jesus commissioned His disciples to spread the mission to the ends of the earth; thus, our community word for May says – Missionaries of the Risen Christ serve God in love. To this day, the mission work of the Church and mission for each of us continues. These are the works which Jesus directs us to propagate as we are enabled to perform these with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus tells us – “Feed my lamb…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.” (cf. Jn21:15-17). We ought to embrace the commitment we made to the Lord for being in community, to bring out the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in fulfilling our vision and mission. Holy Week and Easter gave us the opportunity to reflect on the word of God, to pray and discern God’s voice as we continue to take part in the various programs of our community and of the Church. Celebrating Easter would be more meaningful when we are truly aware of our mission for the last, the least and the lost, to bring hope to the hopeless and encouragement to the desperate and suffering.
Let us then reflect on the readings through the various themes and promises for May.
For the 3rd Sunday of Easter, we are given the theme – We serve God in love when we obey His commands. To show that He lives, Jesus appears to His apostles through a symbolic miracle of catching fish after an unsuccessful night of fishing. He then reinforces Peter as the visible head shepherd of the Church. Peter responded three times, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you,” (Jn 21:15). Like Peter, our deep love for Jesus is all He needs from us. Loving the Lord is the prerequisite to carry out pastoral and mission works which must be done with genuine care for the “sheep,” the people God places in our life. The Lord commands us to follow him in caring for God’s people with compassion, kindness and concern, qualities that prevail over other qualities of a leader or shepherd. This is the path to bring more souls to Christ. It is his assurance that to “cast the net over the right side of the boat (and), you will find something,” (Jn 2:6).
We serve God in love when we follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is the theme for the 4th Sunday of Easter. Jesus is our one true Shepherd, for in Him we find the qualities of a good shepherd – leading, guiding, protecting, and caring. He set Himself as the role model for us as His under-shepherds, to be strong in faith and full of love. We are called to listen to His voice, to follow His example and bring meaning to our lives as we love and empathize with our brothers. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus knows us by name and leads us to the Father, to “springs of life-giving water and wipe away every tear from our eyes,” (Rev 7:17). The Lord is faithful to His promise: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish,” (Jn 10:28).
The theme for the 5th Sunday of Easter tells us – We serve God wholeheartedly when we love one another. To receive full joy from God’s love depends on our response to His commandment to love one another, not merely in word, but more so in action. To love God is to resolve to continue His mission on earth, in constant faithfulness and obedience to Him. Even as we pray and preach, our faith must translate into loving actions in the way that our Lord Jesus taught and showed us throughout His ministry. Let us imitate the Lord for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and kind, good to all and compassionate to His creations (cf. Ps 145:8, 9). His love endures forever and we are assured of His promise, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes…for the old order has passed…I will make all things new.” (Rv 21:4b, 5b).
For the 6th Sunday of Easter, the theme is – We serve God in love when we receive and share the peace of Christ. The peace that Christ gives is the calmness, the serenity of order within no matter what is happening outside. Because of His great love for us, God wants us to have an abundance of peace, joy and everything else that He wants to fill our lives with. At the same time, Jesus challenges us to become advocates and defenders of people who may need us. For God’s peace is not ours to keep but is meant to be shared. He is calling us to serve His people, not lord over them, to be bearers of the Good News and to love as Jesus loved. Jesus assures us – “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him,” (Jn 14:23a). Then the mutual love of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit will come to us and make their dwelling place within us (cf. Jn 14:23b).
Finally, for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the theme tells us – We serve God in love when we preach repentance for the forgiveness of sin. The ascension of Jesus to take His place at the right hand of the Father marks the glorious fulfillment of His mission on earth. He left the promise of His Father for the salvation man, that as the apostles were witnesses to His death and resurrection, they would preach the forgiveness of sins in his name to all nations (cf. Lk 24: 46-48). This is our daunting mission to this day. But we are not alone because as we are witnesses in His name, Jesus has given us the Advocate to equip us; we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit. We too received the promise given to the Apostles, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” (Acts 1:8a).

Prayer:
Lord, we implore Your goodness with faith, hope and thanksgiving. We rejoice for You saved us from darkness, as You call us now to continue serving You. Let Your Holy Spirit work in us towards our salvation. Thank you for reminding us to heed Your call. Forever, Lord, strengthen us that we may proclaim Your word to every nation, tongue and tribe – to the ends of the earth. Amen.

Readings
May 1, 2022 – Acts 5:27-32, 40B-41/ Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-13/ Rev 5:11-14/ Jn 21:1-19
May 8, 2022 – Acts 13:14, 43-52/ Ps 100:1-2, 3, 5/ Rev 7:9, 14B-17/ Jn 10:27-30
May 15, 2022 – Acts 14:21-27/ Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13/ Rev 21:1-5A/ Jn 13:31-33A, 34-35
May 22, 2022 – Acts 15:1-2, 22-29/ Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8/ Rev 21:10-14, 22-23/ Jn 14:23-29
May 29, 2022 – Acts 1:1-11/ Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9/ Eph 1:17-23/ Lk 24:46-56

 
 

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