7th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples whom he asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered, “We have not even heard that anyone may receive the Holy Spirit.” Paul then asked, “What kind of baptism have you received?” And they answered, “The baptism of John.”
Paul then explained, “John’s baptism was for conversion, but he himself said they should believe in the one who was to come, and that one is Jesus.” Upon hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came down upon them; and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of them in all.
Paul went into the synagogue and for three months he preached and discussed there boldly, trying to convince them about the Kingdom of God.
Gospel: John 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that you know all things, even before we question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe! The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
“I have told you all this, so that in me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but, courage! I have overcome the world.”
In Old Testament times the great fear was of being scattered as a people; the word “scatter” is used frequently. In the present Gospel text you see a kind of intermediate state: “Scattered, each one went to his home.” But scattering and spreading was soon to be the order of the day. The disciples would be sent out “to the whole world.” Images that Jesus used of the Kingdom were salt, yeast, seeds – all of which are for scattering and getting lost in a greater reality. The Kingdom of God comes to fruition in us when, like Jesus, we become willing to lay down our lives, to give ourselves away.
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