Fifth Week of Easter: Apr. 24 - 30, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Fifth Week of EasterThe Fifth Week of Easter begins with the ongoing story of the life of the Spirit in the early community. So full of life for preaching the Word, the apostles select deacons to help, so no one is neglected. In the Sunday gospel Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled by his apparent absence, for he is going to prepare a place for us, in fact, he is the "way, and the truth, and the life." If we believe in him - this is, stay connected with him - we will do even greater works than he did.All week, as we read about the inspiring development in the early community - with the acceptance of the good news by the Gentiles - we experience the assurance of Jesus.Even on Monday, when we break our cycle of readings to celebrate the Feast of St. Mark, we hear that after the Ascension, "the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs."The Gospels this week continue the "Last Discourse" of our Lord, taking chapters 14 and 15 of the Fourth Gospel.In these marvelous chapters we experience Jesus consoling his disciples with the gift of his peace, which is different than the peace the world offers.What Jesus gives is a relationship as close as a vine is to its branches. He calls us to remain connected with him so that we can remain fruitful. Without him, we dry up and wither. Plus, so united with Jesus, we can ask him for whatever we need to be fruitful. His invitation is for us to remain in his love, to make our home there. The resulting relationship is that of a friend. And this friendship is his gift to us - not our choosing him, but Jesus choosing us as friends who can open our hearts to him.Therefore, in this relationship of connectedness and fruitful love flowing to us and through us to others, Jesus says that the one command he gives us is that we love one another - that we stay loving and fruitful.Finally, Jesus reminds us that if the world didn't like his announcing and living of this good news, then it won't like our announcing and living it either.All of this leads us to the 6th Sunday of Easter where in the gospel, we have the anticipation of the Pentecost with Jesus promising he would not leave us orphaned: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth."