Authentic Life in Christ

Sunday readings in brief 5 Easter A

Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 32(33); 1 Peter 2:4-9; Jn 14:1-12

Authentic Life in Christ

Dear friends, today is the fifth Sunday of Easter. We have one more Sunday before the ascension of our Lord into heaven. The readings today present Christ to us as both a Sacrament to some and an invisible stumbling block to others. Sacrament in the sense of the visible sign of invisible reality and an invisible stumbling block in that those opposed to his teachings stumble on their way because they cannot stand before the truth.

Imagine a rope tied across the street, which cannot be seen by our physical eyes but by faith only. How many of us will see it and how many will stumble upon it? This is what Christ is to the world in the words of St. Peter in the second reading today (1 Pt 2:7-8). Those who believe him and follow his ways will always walk in the light and will never stumble. However, those who reject or oppose his ways will always stumble upon him. People who live in lies and malice will always stumble in front of the truth. Those who perpetuate evil in the cover of darkness will always stumble at the slightest grim of the light.

Faith in Christ is supposed to open our minds and spirits to be able to see the truth and profit from it. Today many men and women are afraid of the truth because it calls for great responsibility. Living in lies seems easy but every time we are confronted by the truth, we find it difficult even to breathe. Take for example someone who lives in falsehood in a community. He or she must work very hard to keep those around from discovering the truth. It can be very tiresome to live a life of covering one’s tracks not to be discovered. However, those who embrace the truth have it easy because no matter how much we try to paint it otherwise, it is always self-evident. The Pharisees and the high priest denied the fact that Christ was the messiah of God. however, they had to conflict with the truth laid bare to everyone. They themselves looked like fools trying to fight against the disciples who were preaching the resurrection while the lay people were able to see the light.

Jesus said to Philip, “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Sacraments are visible signs of an invisible reality. Jesus came to the world to make visible the reality of God that the prophets were unable to present because of human limitations. With his life, teachings, and sacrifice, Jesus revealed who God is and how he operates. God is compassionate, loving, caring, uplifting, forgiving, patient, truthful, faithful, and so on. Though God tried many times to present his reality through prophets, the world was too blinded by sin to appreciate it. Christ, God made man like us, was the only one who was able to present God’s reality in a simple way that only requires faith to be able to appreciate.

The world is still looking for signs even when the truth is laid bare for everyone to see and make a choice. The challenge men and women have when it comes to embracing the truth is paying the price and taking responsibility. Many want to possess every good thing but very few are willing to pay the price and take responsibility for them. You cannot have both the truth and lies mixed together. one has to make a brave choice between them.

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jh 14:6). If we want to see God, we must faithfully follow Jesus’ teachings. If we want to know the truth, we must reflect deeply upon his teachings, and if we want to have life, we must live authentically his teachings. If we are not faithful in following him, do not have time to reflect upon his teachings, and are not authentic in living according to his teachings, we will not benefit from his presence and promises. As Christians, our vocation is to become sacraments of Christ to the world so that those encountering us will not ask us to show them, Christ.  

Dear friends, God made the world so beautiful and full of opportunities and good things for both humans and beasts. He has given basic knowledge to all creatures to survive in the world. However, the wisdom to live fulfilling lives on earth is only given to men and women who seek it with sincere hearts. It is like a hidden treasure that we have to work hard to discover every day. complaining about reality does not change it but worsens it. How much time do we spend complaining about things that fix them?

Have a blessed Sunday

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

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