Greetings on this the Friday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 5:34-42; PS 27:1, 4, 13-14; Jn 6:1-15
The first reading deals with the continued preaching the good news by the Apostles in the temple area and the healing charism the Apostles were given. This caused no small problem for the leadership.
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, offered a new approach. We cannot know his intentionality or if the advice was actually of divine origin.
So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him. After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
One can surmise that it was a tactical decision by those gathered, not made in the spirit of truth. After all, if it possibly comes from God they nevertheless went about flogging the Prophet-Apostles anyway!
Paul, of Tarsus, a student of Gamaliel, soon enough, will exaggerate the violence upon the believers of Jesus.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
Found worthy to participate in the suffering of Christ for the salvation of people.
We are also found worthy by Jesus to participate in the divine banquet.
The feeding of the 5,000 was in close proximity in time to the Passover.
Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Jesus, a teacher of the law of love, respected by all the people, offered a new approach.
Taking the five barley loaves (bread of the poor) and two fish, Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
Jesus the Eucharist (which means Thanksgiving) gave thanks.
The people ate all they wanted, were satisfied, and twelve wicker baskets were left over.
The people saw the sign he had done and wanted to make him king.
The critical component stressed today is this: you have been found worthy not by merit but by Grace to be worthy to receive the Eucharist.
- There is no tactical advantage.
- There is no waiting to see if this is of man or God.
- There is no proclaiming king in the way of power.
It is to be simply in his presence and letting him be the Thanksgiving he came to be.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
Peace be with you,