A Crisis of Community

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 9th, 2017
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

ONE of the most fascinating aspects of the early Church is that, after Pentecost, they immediately, almost instinctively, formed community. They sold everything they had and held it in common so that everyone’s needs were cared for. And yet, no where do we see an explicit command from Jesus to do as such. It was so radical, so contrary to the thinking of the time, that these early communities transformed the world around them.

The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord… they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart. (Today’s first reading)

The hand of the Lord was with them because they were living the teaching of Jesus authentically—a teaching that, although it did not explicitly order them to form communities, it did so implicitly—if not by His own example in gathering the Twelve Apostles around him.  

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet… For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest… I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:14; Luke 9:48; John 13:34-35)

Jesus does not make miracles and signs and wonders the mark of discipleship (at least not primarily), but love, which is at the center of unity. Thus, whether it is the community of religious orders, the community of the family, or the community of a husband and wife, love that serves is what transforms it, making it the light of Christ in the world. 

…it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. (First reading)

That’s because it was there that they became “other Christs” in the world.

The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me… The Father and I are one. (Today’s Gospel)

People listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and when people do listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. —POPE PAUL VI, Evangelization in the Modern World, n. 41

If the world is in a crisis of faith today, it is not for lack of 24 hour Christian radio and television stations; if the world cannot find Christ, it is not for a lack of churches and tabernacles; if the world does not believe in the Gospel, it is not for a lack of Bibles and spiritual books. Rather, it is because they can no longer find those communities of love and service, those places where “two or three are gathered” in His name… in the name of Love. 

This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived. (1 John 2:5-6)

 

RELATED READING

The Sacrament of Community

Community… An Encounter With Jesus

Community Must be Ecclesial

Unless the Lord Build the Community

 

Contact: Brigid
306.652.0033, ext. 223

stpaulsparish@shaw.ca

 

THROUGH SORROW WITH CHRIST
MAY 17TH, 2017

A special evening of ministry with Mark
for those who have lost spouses.

7pm followed by supper.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church
Unity, SK, Canada
201-5th Ave. West

Contact Yvonne at 306.228.7435

Posted in HOME, ALL, FAITH AND MORALS, MASS READINGS.