Easter5A20. Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7. The Hellenists generally were the non-Hebrew members of the Christian community. The Christian community looked after the needs of the widows but it seems that the distribution of goods seemed to favor the Hebrew widows more than the Hellenists. The Apostles or the Twelve gathered the community to set up a special group chosen to care for the problem stated above. We now call these men deacons. The “number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly,” building the church community in the days after Pentecost.
John 14:1-12.“Jesus said to his disciples:” “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” I will “’take you to myself, so that where I am going you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Thomas does not comprehend the spiritual. For him things are only earthly. That is why later Thomas refuses to accept Jesus’ resurrection. To a person who thinks only in terms of what this earth is all about, death is absolute, total termination and obliteration. Jesus was always trying to lift his disciples’ way of thinking from the earthly and physical to the spiritual and heavenly. I do not think the disciples understood fully until the Spirit came to build them into people that had a spiritual frame of mind. Spirituality is drawing the daily breathe of our lives from the Holy Spirit. The “dwelling places” that Jesus is speaking about is that we will have an eternal life with him, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Even in this world if we are children of God the Father, then we live in profound and intimate union with the person of God. Our dwelling place is our life or our dwelling in Jesus who is also our way to heaven. Jesus goes to the Father to be our Advocate along with the Spirit, calling upon the Father that what we do in his name and will, we will do empowered by the Father. The works that Jesus did, he will now do through us, by making us the instruments of his will on earth.
1 Peter 2:4-9. God is building his spiritual house, his Church, that is to say his Christian community, with his people, as the living stones. What enables us to be his living stones is our faith which empowers us to draw our spiritual life from Christ. To those who choose to live in Christ, “you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The real Church is the people of God who use a physical building called the church to be the visible sign of the Holy Spirit’s invisible work in this world.