May 14, 2017 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” In today’s first reading from Acts, the Hellenists were troubled that theirs widows weren’t being provided for. They knew who to turn to. They went to the Church, the Apostles who prayed for some Spirit-filled helpers. These faith-filled helpers were anointed to serve those that our Psalm would describe as “those who hope for his kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine”. By stepping up, these helpers not only provided for the widows, but allowed the apostles to do what they were called to do: to spread the Word of God so that “the number of disciples increased greatly.”

We each are called to take our part in the Kingdom. The second reading from 1 Peter calls us: “Beloved, come to him…let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.” At our Baptism, we were each anointed as “priest” (one who serves). When we take our place as one who is willing to make the sacrifices it takes to serve, we become a church who “announces the praises of him” whose mercy is trustworthy to deliver those who are troubled.

My guess is that everyone reading this would agree we live in a world with many troubles. The solution to these troubles is to answer the call to serve – be a helper empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let the anointing of your Baptism that was stirred into flame at your Confirmation equip you to respond to those in need. We have been anointed to respond supernaturally, above and beyond what a mere human being could do himself. See, God’s mercy is incredible beyond words for those who “put their trust in Him.” Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – reminds us that He too has empowered us when He proclaims in today’s Gospel that “whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to the Father.”

Say “yes” to Church. Take your place. Let your works done in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit sing praise to our God whose mercy is upon us. Alleluia!

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