WITH ST. MARY'S
THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
God is present in the world in a variety of ways.
SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
God has consistently made physical his dwelling place on earth so that we may be near to Him. He was there in the wilderness with the Israelites in the Ark of the Covenant, He resided in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem, He walked on earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and now makes His union with us in the Eucharist. Even physically, God has never left us. However, He has made Himself accessible in a much more intimate way now, enabling us to receive Him into ourselves in the Blessed Sacrament. In this way, we become God’s presence to the world.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
Before Christ, those who wanted to practice their faith in the One True God needed to travel to Jerusalem in order to worship in the Temple, to offer sacrifices, and to get as close as possible to the Holy of Holies, God’s residing place on earth. Jerusalem was where heaven and earth touched. It was the access point by which humble human beings could approach the divine. As a firstborn Jew, Christ was immediately dedicated to God in the Temple after his birth - God left the confines of the Temple and physically went out into the world through the person of Christ. Even after his death and resurrection, the Church in Jerusalem had a special role: the Gentile converts approached the apostles and elders within the city to be instructed on how they must conform to the Judaic roots of Christianity. In this “Council of Jerusalem,” representatives were sent to Antioch to deliver the message to the Gentiles there. Interestingly, it is understood that Peter, the first leader of the Church, was first bishop in Antioch before moving to Rome. In the first reading, we see the movement and flourishing of the power of the Church from its origins in Jerusalem to the rest of the known world. In the vision of heaven we hear from the book of Revelation, Jerusalem has been renewed; there is no temple anymore because God’s presence has permeated throughout the Heavenly City through the figure of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. In the Gospel, our understanding is solidified: the persons of the Holy Trinity have made Their dwelling not in a building or a temple, but in the hearts of the members of our Holy Church.
Family activity to do at home: God wants us to go out into the world to make disciples of all nations. This is much easier said than done! However, there are little ways that we can build up our courage and our desire to go out and see how God has already laid the groundwork for His message to be shared. One of the best ways to begin our call as missionary disciples is to literally go out. Go visit the other churches in our diocese, visit the missions in remote areas, visit holy sites where great figures once worked according to the will of God, go to Rome where the Church finds its home today, go to Jerusalem where salvation was won for humanity. See how the work of God has already reached the ends of the world, and be strengthened to be part of the Church’s growth. Pilgrimages are an ideal way to renew one’s faith as a family.