Friday, May 15, 2015

The birth of the new creation (John 16:20-23a.)

Acts of the Apostles 18:9-18.
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision , "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent,
for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city."
He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal,
saying, "This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, "If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut because he had taken a vow.

Psalms 47(46):2-3.4-5.6-7. 
All you peoples, clap your hands; 
shout to God with cries of gladness. 
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, 
is the great king over all the earth. 

He brings people under us; 
nations under our feet. 
He chooses for us our inheritance, 
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves. 

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; 
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. 
Sing praise to God, sing praise; 
sing praise to our king, sing praise. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 16:20-23a.

Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."

The birth of the new creation (Rm 8,22)

Now the reign of life has come and the power of death overturned. Another birth has appeared together with another life, another way of being, a transformation of our very nature. This birth is not the result of “the will of man nor the desire of the flesh, but of God” (Jn 1,13)…

“This is the day the Lord has made” (Ps 118[117],24). It’s a very different day from those in the beginning because on this day God creates a new heaven and a new earth, as the prophet says (Is 65,17). Which heaven? The firmament of faith in Christ. Which earth ? A true heart, as the Lord says: earth that is saturated with the rain that falls on it and that brings forth an abundant harvest (Lk 8,15). In this creation the sun equals the pure life; the stars are the virtues; the air is transparent behaviour; the sea is the rich depths of wisdom and knowledge; the grass and herbage are God’s solid doctrine and teachings where the flock – that is, the people of God – finds pasture; the fruit-bearing trees are the practice of the commandments. On this day true man was created, made in the image and likeness of God (Gn 1,27).

Is this not an entire world that is begun for your sake in “the day the Lord has made” ?... The greatest privilege of this day of grace is that it has destroyed the sufferings of death and given birth to the firstborn from the dead (Col 1,18)…, he who says: “I am going to your Father and to my Father, to my God and to your God” (Jn 20,17). O what excellent, what good news! He who for our sakes became like us to make us his brothers and sisters, carries his own humanity to the Father so as to bear all humankind along with him.

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