Fifth Sunday of Easter
                                                        April 28, 2013 Cycle C
                                                                                   by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.

Home Page  
Sunday Reading Reflections Index

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22b).

Today’s readings give us a different perspective on life’s tribulations.

In this life, we all have to endure difficulties, which can involve health, relationships, finances, work etc. There can also be tribulations due to the fact of being Christian; a different way of living that conflicts with the predominant mentality. During our lives, we inevitably face circumstances that cause suffering.

We usually view hardships as obstacles to our happiness.

Jesus teaches us to take a different attitude toward adversities. He tells us that the cross is the way for his glorification: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him” (Jn 13: 31-32).

Jesus does not say that his cross is enjoyable. We know that his agony in the Garden of Olives was real and crucifixion was a terrible death. Until Christ rises from death, we do not understand that suffering was His path of glory.

Jesus renews the world and us through his cross. With him, “the old order has passed away” (Rev 21:4b). In the second reading, he says: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5a).

In Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of Christ, there is a moving scene. Jesus falls on the ground and Mary comes to help him. She says: “I’m here.” Then Jesus declares: “See mother, I make all things new.” Then Jesus gets off the ground and takes up his cross again.

If we face our tribulations as Jesus did, we will start to see the new heaven and the new earth that the second reading talks about. Hardships are no longer impediments but rather the path we walk toward the accomplishment of our lives. We can legitimately ask how this is possible.

In the first reading, Paul and Barnabas told Christians enduring hardships to persevere in the faith: “They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith (Acts 14:22).”

It is possible to see hardships in a different way if we find comfort in the community and are in dialogue with Christ. Then we discover that our tribulations can be fonts of peace and hope.

Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, let us pray for the grace of seeing our tribulations as the path for the glorification of our lives.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Home Page  
Sunday Reading Reflections Index