Interpretation of the readings of the VII Easter Sunday / reading year C- Church + Life

After his ascension, Jesus promised Christians the Holy Spirit – but he is not here immediately. Dominican Kerstin-Marie Berretz also applies this to the situation in the Church today – and it is certain: the dispute does not convince anyone of the message of Jesus.

In the church of the Dominican nuns Ilanz in Switzerland there is a very special window on the day of the Ascension: you can see the feet of the risen Christ rising from the ground. He left Earth after appearing to his friends for 40 days. In this way, they could understand that Jesus was really alive and that death did not have the last word.

But now, the Sunday after Ascension, the seventh Sunday of Easter, it is slowly becoming clear that when the Lord is no longer on earth, people will be needed to carry His message to the world. This is what he wants.

Jesus needs witnesses

Here is what we read in today’s Gospel: Jesus desperately wants the world to believe that he has been sent from the Father and that God loves the world as much as he loves his Son. But now it needs other witnesses.

This is still the case today. To this day, people are needed to proclaim to the world that God became man, that He went to the cross for us people and overcame death, so that we would have an abundant life.

When the Easter joy is over

Readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter (reading year C) can be heard here.

During this period between Ascension and Pentecost, it may become clear that, despite all the celebration of Easter, it is sometimes challenging. Because the Holy Spirit has already been announced to us as our backup, it will be a few more days before the Spirit is poured out at Pentecost.

We can also feel this again and again: the great enthusiasm for the faith among young people is slowly disappearing. As after the six weeks of Easter, the Hallelujah is no longer as strong as it was on Easter morning.

I’m waiting for the ghost

Of course, it is and remains clear that it is worth believing because the kingdom of God has been promised to us and because it is dawning here and now. But sometimes it may not be that noticeable.

Just like it is between Christ’s Ascension and Pentecost with the Holy Spirit. He will come down on us and we know that he is a great helper with whom we can meet any challenge. But it’s not really noticeable at the moment.

In my opinion, it is helpful in this situation that Jesus prays to his father not only for himself but also for us. He wants all of them to be one and thus drawn into the Trinity. Moreover, Jesus says that he has already given us the glory of God that we may be one as God is one in himself.

Jesus wants fellowship

Author
Sister Kerstin-Marie Berretz is a Dominican Sister and teacher in St. Thomas College in Vechta. | Photo: private

So we were taken to the Triune God, and much has already been given to us. In the same way, as a baptized community, we are not alone with ourselves and with our thoughts and feelings.

We know that doesn’t mean it’s just sun and roses. For example, in today’s reading, Stephen is stoned to death and no one stands by him or defends him. But Jesus wants us to be one community. That we stand together and do things together.

Common core despite quarrels in the church

It means that we see this very strongly in the Church now, a great challenge. Because there are so many thoughts and currents. Some believe that others are not Catholic and others believe that they are conservative. At the same time, and you can read about it all the time in the Gospel, Jesus cares about God’s love and glory. The world should know about it. Everything else is secondary.

So before I start to get upset about others who are living their faith in God differently, who like different traditions and forms, I can see if we don’t have a common core.

Common belief in different currents

What is the other person about? Why does a man do what he does? And if I don’t understand it, maybe we can talk about it. By sharing openly and honestly what we understand in the gospel and what it says to us about the message of Jesus Christ.

Because in our world where fewer and fewer people believe, the quarrels with one another are not convincing. Rather, we can convince and show through our words and much more through our lives: God is love and He wants glory and life for all. And that is why we can meet, although we may be very different. Therefore, together we can believe in different traditions and currents.

All readings from the 7th Sunday of Easter (reading year C) can be found here.

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