The Word This Week ~ 18 May 2014
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First Reading: Acts 6:1-7
Here we have a picture of the early church’s idealistic community. The point at issue here is the unity of the church and the apostles’ concern to mediate and reconcile differences between conflicting parties. An opportunity to address issues of xenophobia. An impressive aspect of the early church is its ability to adapt to changing needs of the community to which it is ministering. Note that the community is consulted.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
Here we have the wonderful metaphor of the Church as a spiritual edifice constructed of “living stones”: the Christians community built on the foundation stone that is Christ himself. The believers are given an elaborate new identity in terms originally applied to Israel, with a
Christian twist. The mantle of the priestly ministry of Christ is passed to the believers, who are now God’s elect, a people set apart and consecrated as a holy nation.
Gospel Reading John 14:1-12
By the time the Gospel of John is being written the idea of the parousia as imminent had given way to longer-term understanding of an encounter with Christ at one’s own personal death. The misunderstandings of both Philip and Thomas serve as a catalyst for Jesus’ climactic statement: “I am the way, the trust and the life.” The “way” is not the first-century equivalent to the contemporary self-help book. It is Jesus presenting himself as God’s Revelation. Jesus manifests the presence and mind of God in the world and to know Jesus as “the Way” was dynamically meaningful to the earliest Christian communities who used the appellation: the Way.
Published Fri 16th May 2014 12:07:42