A Note on Today’s Readings, The Seventh Sunday of Easter—Year A
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
We begin today the final week of Easter. Last Thursday we celebrated Jesus’ ascension to the Father and his glorification. The Gospel reading today is a portion of the prayer he prayed on the night before his death, in which he consecrated his offering of himself to God, and prayed for us that we might be made part of his offering. In baptism, we have, in fact, received the benefits of that prayer.
The re, ding from the Acts of the Apostles is the beginning of that book. Luke describes Jesus’ ascension and the promise that he would shortly empower his friends with the Holy Spirit. We are told that the disciples, including Jesus’ mother, then spent the remaining days together in prayer waiting for that gift of the Spirit, which would come upon them on the Day of Pentecost.
In the passage from 1 Peter, we are exhorted to live lives in keeping with our vocation given in baptism. If we are to suffer, let it be for doing good, not because of wrongdoing. Such righteous suffering deepens our union with Christ. We are already assured by Jesus’ Resurrection that no suffering can destroy the eternal life we have been given.
We gather week by week to celebrate the Eucharist. The Ascension reminds us that in the Eucharist Jesus is not made present by being brought down to us; he is present because in the Eucharist we are taken up to where he is. For a moment, we are not only in the world but we become citizens of the eternal kingdom.