Sunday readings in brief 4 Easter C
Acts 13:14,43-52; Ps 99 (100); Apo 7:9.14-17; Jn 10:27-30
The Project called Salvation
Dear friends, today we are in the middle of this beautiful Easter season. I am sure everyone is amazed by the way, the apostles and the converts are zealous about the Good News. Last week we began to read about the conversion of St. Paul. By opening his eyes, Jesus made him realize how wrong he was and this changed him forever. This week we will continue to hear how using his education, position in society, and mandate, spread the Good News of Christ. We too are called like St. Paul to convert and instead of using our talents to contradict the Gospel, use them to propagate it to all around us.
I would like us to consider today the message of salvation as a project initiated by God for us his people and for all his creation. In any project, there are many things to put into consideration. These include the impact you want to create by your project, the overall goal, the specific objectives or the outcome you want to see, the output of your project, and the specific activities. For you to realize all these there must also be a set baseline for the project, concrete means of verifying that your project is on the right track, and finally the indicators for the same. Again, there are some assumptions that you have to make because the future is known to no one. You must also have an Action Plan that tells you what to be done, when is it to be done, how to do it, by whom, and with what means.
After the fall of man, God initiated an elaborate project known as Salvation for us his people. The impact that God intended by this project was to bring everyone back to himself starting here on earth and later forever in heaven. The overall goal is to have the values of the Kingdom practiced by all. The specific objectives were to proclaim the Good News to the poor, release the captives, sight for the blind, and freedom to the oppressed (Lk 4:16-20). The outputs were to establish the Church as a vehicle and platform to drive this project with enough ministers of the Gospel, many people believing in the Gospel and being transformed. The specific activities were the actual preaching of the Gospel values to all people of all cultures and languages (SVD Constitution 102).
God also made an Action Plan for his project. He sent Jesus (whom) to establish his Kingdom on earth (what) and in turn, Jesus commanded his disciples with the help of the Holy Spirit (whom). They had to preach to all and baptize those who would believe them (how), from the day of Pentecost (when) until he returns. The baseline for this project is to compare the status quo before and after the preaching of the Gospel in any given community. The indicators for the project are the numbers of converts and how they live their lives after conversion. The target group was first the Jews and later all of us.
In any project, there are some assumptions made and if they turn out to be true then the project is realized. If not, the project may not reach its goal or may delay. There must be measures put in place to mitigate such challenges. The assumptions here are that many will listen to the word of God and understand it get converted and be good.
In the first reading today we hear how Paul decided to turn to the pagans after the Jews refused to receive the Good News. Jesus once told the twelve to leave and dust their feet from any village that refused to receive them. However, those who receive the Gospel and are baptized are destined for fulfilling lives here on earth and life eternal as St. John describes in the Second reading. They will come from all nations and languages and will be rejoicing in front of the lamb.
Jesus also gives us the means for verification of those who convert to the Kingdom. “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice and they follow me and for that reason, they will never be lost”.
Dear friends, today is also Vocation Sunday. As we pray for many vocations into the service of the Gospel, let us also reflect and see what part are we taking in the project of salvation initiated by God in Christ Jesus, to save ourselves and the world around us.
Have a blessed Sunday
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD
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