Reflections for Sunday, May 5, 2013

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 15:1-2,22-29; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Revelation 21:10-14,22-23; John 14:23-29)

Being Drawn into the Life of the Trinity

Peace I leave with you. (John 14:27)

Rarely is a passage from Scripture as Trinitarian as these few verses. This passage comes from Jesus’ farewell address at the Last Supper: the final words that he gave his disciples before he was arrested and crucified (John 13-17). In these five chapters, Jesus focuses on the relationship between God as Trinity and his people. They show us how much God wants to draw every single person to himself, and they show us what we should do if we want to be filled with his peace.

Today’s passage contains many of the themes that we find in the whole five chapters of Jesus’ farewell message. He tells the disciples how much the Father loves them. He tells them that his Father wants to make his home in the hearts of all people who love him. He speaks about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and about the blessings we experience when we obey God’s commands. It’s amazing how, in just a few short sentences, Jesus says so much about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Now, even though the Trinity is a mystery of our faith, we don’t have to understand it perfectly to experience the peace that our Triune God wants to give us. Few of us know how a watch, a car, or a computer works. But we all have experienced the benefits these things give us. And so it is with God. When Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you,” he is offering us a share in the harmony and communion that exist within the Trinity. He is offering us true, deep, lasting peace.

This peace is not just a warm feeling. It’s the grace to be holy and to resist evil. It’s the grace to forgive. It’s the grace to remind us that God is with us and that we have nothing to fear (John 14:27). It’s the spiritual tranquility that comes from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, I want to be filled with your peace now and always.”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Questions for Reflection/Discussion

  1. The reading from Acts tells us of the importance of unity and how the early Christians worked together “with one accord” to resolve conflicts.  We read of the lengths they went to avoid splits and factions. Are their any areas in the life of your parish or the life of your family where there is disunity? What steps can you take to be a peacemaker and a resolver of conflicts?
  1. In the Responsorial Psalm, the response is “O God, let all the nations praise you!”  Why do we as Americans need to especially praise God? What reasons do you have to personally praise the Lord?
  1. The Book of Revelation speaks of our new heavenly city.  All its imagery (precious stone, jasper, crystal) is a symbolic attempt to express the inexpressible wonder of living eternally with God.  But we are so practiced to thinking only of the present world, we may find it difficult to think about or “desire” heaven.  How important to you is it to focus on your future life with God? What can you do to allow the reality of your heavenly destiny to have a greater impact on how you live your life?
  1. In the Gospel Jesus tells us that if we love him and keep his word, the Father and he will come and make their dwelling with us.  What steps can you take to deepen the life and love of Christ that is within you?
  1. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Now, even though the Trinity is a mystery of our faith, we don’t have to understand it perfectly to experience the peace that our Triune God wants to give us.” What is the difference between this peace and the peace that the world gives?  Do you know this peace?  What can you do to experience it more deeply, and give it away to others?
  1. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to give you a greater experience of his peace. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.