New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summary For 3rd Sunday of Easter – Year C (May 5)
Acts 9:1-20: Saul “breathing out threats and murder” encounters the living Christ in the most famous conversion story of all time. From this “Damascus Road” experience, Saul becomes St. Paul, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, and the writer of 3/4's of the New Testament's books. He will put his rabbinic training and his keen mind to bear on both deep theological questions and practical church administrative disputes. Yet it will be his love of Jesus Christ that will conquer his heart and turn him into the great poet of the N. Testament (I Corinthians 13, Romans 8). Notice too the pivotal role of fearful, brave Ananias in this conversion story.
Psalm 30: The Psalmist has been through a crisis and has eluded death. His gratitude bubbles up in praise to God. The seeming displeasure of God is fleeting; God's favour lasts an entire lifetime. Sackcloth is replaced with joy. This is enough reason to praise God forever.
Revelation 5:11-14: John brings us a vision of the greatest heavenly choir ever assembled. Last week's Psalm invited everything on earth to “praise the Lord.” Now heaven joins in. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, became the “lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” This sacrificial lam is now worthy to receive the praise of all creation. Amen. was to deliver all humanity from the crippling effect of sin on our lives.
John 21:10-19: Post-resurrection Jesus appears again to his disciples. This time it is in an outdoor setting in the north part of Israel. The fishermen have again had a bad night, with no catch. Jesus invites them to try again. This time the haul of fish is so big that it almost break their nets. Jesus now invites them a a BBQ breakfast, and invites Peter into a new relationship. Three denials now become 3 new affirmations of love, and threefold commission to “feed my sheep.” It is never too late for redemption, and a new purpose in life.
Scripture Summary For 4th Sunday of Easter – Year C (May12)
Acts 9: 36-43: The Good Shepherd's power and compassion have now been passed on via the Holy Spirit to his followers. A devoted saint Tabitha has died, and her friends audaciously send for Peter to see what he can do to help. What help is there for a dead person? Like Jesus with Jairus' daughter, Peter goes to the upper room here her body lies. He speaks to her “Tabitha, get up”, and the dead person lives. The news spreads and “many believed in the Lord.”.
Psalm 23: This is probably the most famous of all the Psalms. David's image of the Lord as our shepherd appeals to our need for security and serenity. David undoubtedly used his own care for his flocks as a basis for his poetry. From still water to darkest valley, the Shepherd will provide and protect in all circumstances. Maybe this week would be a good opportunity to ponder this psalm before you begin each day. This morning we will sing one of the many well known hymn tunes for this psalm, rather than saying it.
Revelation 7:9-17: St. John sent this letter to the persecuted churches throughout Asia Minor. He is assuring them that although they are suffering now, the final victory would belong to God. All peoples, nations, and heavenly beings will be brought into God's presence. Those who have suffered will be comforted and healed and all will acknowledge God's salvation.
John 10:22-30: It is winter and Jesus is walking through the Temple in Jerusalem. His opponents demand that he declare whether he considers himself “the Messiah”. He says that their disbelief has kept them from hearing his answer. His good and miraculous works should also have alerted them to his identity. He also assures them that his true followers know Him. They are the sheep that know the Good Shepherd's voice. In return he gives them eternal life.
Scripture Summary for the the 5th Sunday of Easter – Year C (May 19)
Acts 11:1-18: At God's command (via a vision), Peter has gone to some Gentile seekers and explained to them the way of Jesus. He is subsequently questioned by the early church leaders “why have you eaten with Gentiles?” Peter then tells them the story of his vision, and the miraculous conversion of Cornelius and his family. The leaders are filled with amazement and, rather than argue further, they praise God that Jesus' salvation will be for all people. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”
Psalm 148: Here the Psalmist invites the entire world to sing to the Lord and give God praise. From angels to sea animals, from the earthly primal elements to the hosts of heaven. From castle to hearth, the elderly and the young – all are given this invitation. God's glory is so great that no other response is adequate.
Revelation 21:1-6: St. John turns to the sublime image of a recreated heaven and earth to describe the glory that awaits his readers; those who have only known heartache and persecution in this life. The beauty of this new picture is overwhelming. God himself will wipe away tears. The creator who has been from the beginning of time, is now the one who orchestrates the consummation of all time. God is the alpha and the omega – the beginning and the end. Death will be banished with all the pain and sorrow that accompany it. All will be new. Alleluia.
John 13:31-35: John shares here the intimate details of Jesus' last night on earth. It is a poignant Passover dinner with his followers. Christ shows his true greatness in the humble act of washing his disciples' feet. He attempts to prepare them for the horror of what will happen in the next hours, but they are not able to understand. He wants to ensure them that God loves them, and that they are to continue in this love.
Scripture Summary 6th Sunday of Easter – Year C (May 26)
Acts 16:9-15: The good news of Jesus is for all people. The Spirit gives Paul a vision, much like Peter's last week. Gentiles need God's salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul immediately sets sail for Macedonia. His route gives a bird's eye view of the great Roman ports of the ancient world. Landing in in Philippi, we then see again how progressive the early believers were. Paul begins preaching, not to the men, but to the women. A leading woman of the city named Lydia hears the message and believes. The first “home church” is thus established.
Psalm 67: The psalmist first prays that God's blessing will be upon him and his beloved ones. He then expands this prayer to include all nations. This in turn will make for joyful people as they will be judged and guided by God's equity. The psalmist ends his writing by counting on the fact that God will indeed bless the people. He prays now that God's blessings continue.
Revelation: 21:10, 22-22:5: We begin today's reading with the same 6 verses that began last week's reading. This time, however, John invites us deeper into the beauty of this new creation. The new Jerusalem will be as glorious as a bride decked out in finery. There will be no need for a Temple – God is right there. No need for sun or moon – God's glory will give enough light. It will be a city that needs no protection; its gates will be wide open. Nothing harmful will be allowed in. Yet, it will be a place that will welcome all nations. No more poverty and bullying – all will be treated like monarchs and all will be worshiping the compassionate Lamb (Jesus) and God the father.
John 14:23-29: This short passage reiterates some of the teachings from last week. The mark of our commitment to Christ will be shown in our love for others. This is possible because the Father and Son will now become a part of us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our lives will in turn be filled with the peace of God, and the Holy Spirit will become our guide in how to live day by day.