The Royal Road of the Cross!
Shikrot Mpwi – Sunday Synopsis with Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year, A – May 7, 2023
Readings: Acts 6:1-7; Responsorial Psalm Ps 32:1-2,4-5,18-19; 1 Pet 2:4-9;
Gospel John 14:1-12.
Theme: The Royal Road of the Cross!
The first reading reveals that the diaconate ministry emerged because of cries of marginalisation of Hellenists by Hebrew women. The second reading speaks of Jesus in metaphorical terms as the stone which was rejected but ends up as the corner stone. In the gospel, Jesus says: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart…” Ahead of his glorious ascension, Jesus’ promise of heavenly reward with the insistence that He is the way the truth and the life invites us to patiently follow the royal road of the cross.
Some Islamists accosted a bus conveying passengers. They ordered everyone to disembark. “If you’re a Christian move to the right and if you’re a Muslim, take the left position, but if you want to convert to Islam, let me see you in the middle” said leader of the sect. At first, there were two groups but after a while, some who were on the Christian side changed their minds and took the middle position. At that, the jihadists freed the two initial groups and had a field day on those who occupied the middle position because they apostatised.
Our readings urge us not to be distracted as we follow Jesus, the leader of our faith on the royal road of the cross. Sometimes royalty presents a rosy atmosphere. However, knowing fully well that His disciples were scandalised at His death, before his ascension, Jesus opens new vistas of hope assuring that even though His is a Royalty of thorns and a rocky path, it ultimately ends up in the crown of eternal glory.
Background and Summary of the Readings
The first reading (Acts 6:1-7) reveals that the diaconate ministry emerged because of cries of marginalisation of Hellenists by Hebrew women. It leads to division of labour, the ministry of service while priests pay attention to the ministry of the word and sacraments.
The second reading (1 Pet 2:4-9) speaks of Jesus in metaphorical terms as the stone which was rejected but ends up as the corner stone. It surmises: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
In the gospel, Jesus promises heavenly reward to his disciples while insisting that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Before ascending to the father, He wanted to clear their doubts, distress, confusion, and anxieties that was why He said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He warms their hearts by stating that he is going to the Father to prepare a fitting place for all heirs of the kingdom.
1. Serve the Poor: The Church is charged to care for the poor, homeless and housebound while holding government accountable for lack of equitable distribution of resources and improving tangible services like access to good roads, education and health facilities and pipe-borne water.
2. Celebrate Your Royalty: The message of St. Peter in the second reading which says, “You are chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God…” reminds us that we have been specially made, as such, we should not allow anyone reduce our God-given potentials.
3. Travel the Royal Road: Jesus assures that without the way, there is no going which further reminds us that He is the way because He knows the way, He goes the way and holds us dear to himself while giving direction for us to follow the royal road of the cross by jettisoning the wide road that leads to perdition.
4. Know the Truth: By saying that He is the truth, Jesus points to the fact that without truth, there is no knowledge while assuring that there is no iota of deceit in Him that is why He calls us to walk in the truth (Cf. John 1:3), love the truth and believe in the truth (Cf. Thessalonians 2:10-12) with the charge: “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”(Cf. John 8:32 ).
5. Live for Christ: Jesus’ insistence that He is the life reveals Him as the bread of life (Cf. John 6:35) and the ultimate destiny of man (Cf. Luke 23:43) who gives life to our mortal bodies (Cf. Romans 8:11) with the mandate that we lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1. The first reading reveals that the diaconate ministry emerged because of cries of marginalisation of Hellenists by Hebrew women.
2. The second reading speaks of Jesus in metaphorical terms as the stone which was rejected but ends up as the corner stone.
3. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart…”
4. Jesus promises heavenly reward to His disciples while insisting that He is the Way the Truth and the Life.
5. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
In conclusion, Christians must develop a sense of sacrifice and responsibility towards those at the margins of the society such as the aged, widows and orphans, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the sick and those who have no sense of direction in life. We are also urged to realise that since it is in Him that we live and move and have our being, God expects us to bear the qualms of this life with a sense of equanimity bearing in mind that we will give an account of our stewardship when our life’s work here is ended. If we waste the life that He has given us, He will hold us accountable. Have a Blessed Week as we continue May Devotion!