Sunday Readings & Reflections


THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B

 

Theme: JESUS THE PARACLETE

Today’s Reading refers to Jesus as the Paraclete. In the midst of a community that was being deceived into minimising the reality of sin, the author of I John reminds them that it is a reality and that it is to be accepted as such, because Jesus intercedes for us with the Father. He also insists that the sure sign that we know Jesus is if we keep his commandment to love one another.

 

First Reading:Acts 3:13-15.17-19ab;
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 4;
Second Reading: 1John 2:1-5;
Gospel:Luke 24:35-48;
Resources used:
*The Sunday Missal, Paulines Publications Africa
*Painting: Poster No. 53, Pentecost – by S. Ajak Bullen


Doctrinal Divisions in the Community

Jesus the Paraclete
The author of I John re-establishes the reality of sin not only caused by lack of faith, but more especially by lack of love of God and neighbour. John the Baptist had presented Jesus as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1 :29). The author of I John reaffirms this by using the word parakletos for Jesus (I Jn 2: I). The Spirit functions in the same way as Jesus did during his earthly minIstry. The parakletos (Paraclete or Advocate) is one who is called to aid someone. Here a disciple of the Johannine School applies it to Jesus. This has puzzled some scholars. However, it underlines the conviction of the author that Jesus intercedes for his followers. His victory is not for him alone, but for everyone. Jesus is present to us and interceding for us all the time.
Knowing Jesus
The author of I John is also categorical about how you can distinguish somebody who knows Jesus from another who does not: it is in the keeping of his commandment (I Jn 2:3-4). As he specifies in the verses that follow, the commandment in question is that of love (I Jn 2: 7-11). The one who loves brother or sister moves from darkness to light!
It was common in the early Christian tradition to speak in such “either-or” terminologies. It emphasised the radical nature of the call to be a disciple of Jesus and that by becoming Christian one had made a break with the past. This is sometimes what we have to keep in mind when we are tempted to be like everybody else.

How can we help each other come to a better understanding of our faith?

Sunday Readings

First Reading Acts 4:8-12

“There is no other name by which we must be saved.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

In those days: Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 118

R: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Or: Alleluia.

Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man; it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

R: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Or: Alleluia.

I will thank you, for you have answered, and you are my saviour. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done, a marvel in our eyes.

R: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Or: Alleluia.

Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. You are my God, I praise you. My God, I exalt you. Give praise to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.

R: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Or: Alleluia.









SECOND READING
1 John 3:1-2

“We shall see God as he is.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John

Beloved: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
The word of the Lord.

Alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own, and my own know me. Alleluia.
GOSPEL READING
John 10:11-18

“The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

At that time: Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”

The Gospel of the Lord.



Sunday Reflections


THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B

*Adapted from: “God’s Word for Christian Communities, Second Readings of Sundays”, by Richard Baawobr M.Afr — Paulines Publications Africa, 2009.