The Fourth Sunday of Easter
First Reading Acts 13:14, 43-52
Second Reading Rev 7:9, 14b-17
Gospel Jn 10:27-30
There was a religious program on BBC radio 4 recently which looked at trends in Christianity in England. According to researches, attendance at Pentecostal churches is on the rise compared to attendance at the more traditional orthodox Churches. One of the many though trivial reasons given was that modern believers did not like the rigid and heavy furniture found in the older churches. They seemed to prefer the lighter and more fluid furniture and the new type of space available in the new churches. This physical reason could be a symbol of something else.
I confess that I do feel a lot of envy when it appears that young people are leaving my beloved Catholic Church in search of other churches.
This may have been how the leading Jews in Antioch felt when Paul and Barnabas appeared to draw crowds to the new Christian Faith after the death of Christ. I have to regularly remind myself not to be negative lest I offend the Holy Spirit. Have you noticed in the second reading from the book of Revelations where John sees a vision of people from every nation, race, people and tongue standing before the Lamb. Is my view of God’s saving love narrow? Do I still think that salvation is only for my group? Who am I to say that some will be saved while others will be damned?
Father, out of your own volition you created all peoples. Out of your love, you keep them in being. Out of your mercy you will save what You have created. Help me begin to see all peoples like you do.
Contributed by Fr Joe Archibong, East Molesey, UK.