Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 10
God Calls Each of Us “out of darkness into his wonderful light”.
“…you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Today’s Scripture Readings are filled with so many different themes upon which we could spend time in reflection. In our First Reading, the first deacons of the Church were selected through a special indwelling of the Holy Spirit, by which they were presented “to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them” in order to serve the needs of the early Christians – a theme for each of us concerning our selfless service to the Body of Christ with the gifts which God has graced us.
In our Gospel for today, we are presented with the theme of trust and dependence upon the providential care which God has for each of us – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”
And Jesus enlightens us about the unity which exists between the Father and the Son – “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” – a sign of Divine Love which each of the Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity have for each other, and an example of the love which we should be living in our lives for one another.
But in today’s meditation, I wish to focus on who we are as a Christian people, for as Peter tells us in our Second Reading, “…you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own…”
And, in the very next verse, which is not a part of today’s Reading, Peter writes, “Once you were ‘no people’ but now you are God’s people; you ‘had not received mercy’ but now you have received mercy.”
I had asked this question in a previous meditation, but I would like to pose it once again: What might our life be like today if God had not made Himself known to us throughout the course of human history and as recorded in Sacred Scripture?
What sort of human behavior would we be experiencing if we had no moral compass by which to guide us? How could we possibly understand the great value which exists in personal suffering if we did not have the example of the Cross of Christ which stands before us?
Even for those who were raised in the past and taught the Mosaic Law in the Old Covenant, theirs was an incomplete awareness of the God whom they knew as Yahweh. In their human experience, their God was One of great Majesty and Power, yet One of great mystery and One who punished His children for their transgressions. And in their limited understanding, most were never able to fully grasp the very Nature of God.
And that is why Peter would write, “Once you were ‘no people’…you ‘had not received mercy’”, passages which he was quoting from the Book of the Prophet Hosea, passages which allude to the many times God’s children would abandon their faith in the One True God to a faith in many gods – paganism.
But today, we are children who have been called “…out of darkness into his wonderful light”! We “are God’s people” and we “have received mercy” by virtue of the providential Love which God holds for each and every one of us!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” And “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”
It is in this Love, which is the very Nature of God, wherein we find His limitless and unfathomable Mercy – a Mercy which makes us “…a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own…”; a Mercy which calls each of us “out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
And in our being called to His Light, we begin to experience His Love and share that Love in turn; we, too, begin to grow in personal sanctity; we, too, begin to trust in the One who truly hears our prayers and answers all our needs – “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
In our individual walks of faith, if we are truly to be “a people of his own”, then we must take the time to reflect upon the nature of our relationship with the One who has created us and saved us for Himself. Is our relationship one in which we give God glory through our thoughts and through our words and deeds? Or is ours one in which we offend His Love and deny His Mercy?
And the question of our relationship with God calls to mind the questions I had asked earlier. Without God, without faith and trust in His Merciful Love, then ours would undoubtedly be a faith without hope, a faith akin to that which we find in other cultures void of the Christian message – one in which, in many instances, there is no real moral compass to guide us, one in which we would find ourselves considering personal suffering as a form of punishment from whatever gods we might be worshiping.
And do we not find these beliefs, to one extent or another, even in today’s culture in which we live, in the sense that there are many who embrace all different forms of secular and materialistic gods – whether that god be in the form of greed for money, fame, sexual excess or power, or even in the abuses which damage both body and soul?
Through the errors of relativism, in which there is no singular Truth, but rather a multitude of truths depending upon one’s personal ideology, philosophy or way of life, there can only result uninhibited egotism and self-centeredness – a thinking which can only come from the prince of this world himself, Satan – a thinking which seduces the mind and heart and deeply harms the soul!
Thankfully, however, we DO have a God who exists! He is a God of Infinite Love. And through His Love, He gave us His Son as our Savior, a Savior who invites us into a holy and loving relationship with His Father, who even taught us how to pray to His Father! And He gave us His Spirit who dwells within us by virtue of our Baptism – a Spirit who guides and teaches us, a Spirit who enlightens and sanctifies us in our life of faith!
For all who proclaim Christ as our true Savior, our Christian faith is not a philosophy; it is not an ideology. Rather, it is the meeting of two persons – a meeting between Jesus Christ and each one of us. And truly being Christian, truly living our life as a faithful disciple of our Lord, calls us to emulate Him in all that we thing, in all that we say and do. And, in this way, we give glory to the God who has called us “…out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
And for each and every one of us, His Light is truly the Way to our eternal and everlasting happiness!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
- “Once you were ‘no people’ but now you are God’s people; you ‘had not received mercy’ but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
- “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)
- “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3)
- “I will put my spirit in you that you may live…thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:14acd)
- “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.” (Hebrews 10:23)
- “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Prayer for the Day
“You are God: we praise You;
You are the Lord: we acclaim You;
You are the Eternal Father: all creation worships You.
“…Throughout the world, the Holy Church acclaims You:
Father, of Majesty unbounded,
Your True and Only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, Advocate and Guide.
“You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the Eternal Son of the Father.
When You became man to set us free,
You did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
“You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that You will come and be our judge.
“Come then, Lord, and help your people,Te Deum
bought with the price of Your own Blood,
and bring us with Your saints to glory everlasting. Amen.”