Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today's news and today's first reading

After I updated yesterday's brief post to include the information from Ethiopia relative to the tragedies in the Mediterranean, today's first reading from Mass seems almost prophetic. In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke write about how the persecution of the Christians in one part of the world led to the spread of the Gospel to other parts. Today we hear about an Ethiopian official, a eunuch (who, for that reason could never be accepted as a convert to Judaism) who, as he was returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy City, was reading aloud (the norm in ancient times) from the prophet Isaiah.
Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,so he opened not his mouth.In his humiliation justice was denied him.Who will tell of his posterity?For his life is taken from the earth.
The recent execution videos from the Middle East are in their own way a fulfillment of that prophecy.  But the Gospel tells us the rest of the story: "I will raise him on the last day.... Whoever believes has eternal life." 

Eternal life, in John's Gospel, is not just "interminable life" or "life with infinite duration," but a kind of "unlimited life," "life without boundaries." It is a participation in God's own life, something that cannot be seized or taken by force. The Easter season is all about this life. For 50 days we are being brought, step by step, in a contemplation of the life that Jesus intends for us to live "to the full." Pentecost is not the end of the Easter season, but the day that the fulness of that life becomes accessible to us. 

May it be so!!!

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