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  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 5 th Sunday of Easter A May 22, 2011 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1 st reading: Acts 6,1-7
    • 1 As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. 3 Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, 4 whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word ." 5 The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.
    The focus is on the ministry of the apostles and deacons.
  • 3. 1 st reading: Acts 6,1-7
    • The Problem
    • 1 As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
    • The Solution
    • 2 So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. 3 Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, 4 whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word .“
    • The 7 Deacons
    • 5 The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.
    A Simple Outline!
  • 4. 1 st reading: Acts 6,1-7
    • The Problem
    • 1 As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
    • The Solution
    • 2 So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. 3 Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, 4 whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word .“
    • Commentary
    • V.1 recognizes the problem brought about by the growth in number of the disciples.
    • The Hellenists are Greeks; Hebrews are the Jews. These are old terms referring to the Greeks and the Jews respectively.
    • The Hellenists feel their widows are neglected in the daily distribution (of food).
    • V.2 shows that the 12 apostles are determined in the work of evangelization.
    • They react to the complaint of the Hellenists (who find the services of the apostles wanting).
    • So, the apostles propose to choose 7 deacons:
      • Reputable men
      • Filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom, v.3
      • They will concentrate on the material needs of the Hellenistic widows.
      • While the apostles will concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word. V.4
  • 5. 1 st reading: Acts 6,1-7
    • The 7 Deacons
    • 5 The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.
    • The apostles’ authoritative opinion is acceptable to the community.v.5
    • The names of the 7 men chosen by the community are:
      • Stephen
      • Philip
      • Prochorus
      • Nicanor
      • Timon
      • Parmenas
      • Nicholas of Antioch
    • In turn, the people present these men to the apostles and the apostles pray and lay hands on them. V.6
  • 6. Reflections on the 1 st reading
    • Church’s ministries are not only for the spiritual needs.
    • They are to answer also the material needs of the people, esp. the poor.
    • We cannot be a good church if we are only after good liturgies, preaching and prayer meetings.
    • We must take care of the poor and the sick, who can’t take care of themselves.
    • As a church, we must be organized to meet everybody’s needs.
    • God desires total salvation and liberation of the human being: material and spiritual.
  • 7. Resp. Ps. 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
    • R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
    • 1 Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. 2 Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
    • 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
    • 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
  • 8. Resp. Ps. 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
    • R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
    • 1 Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. 2 Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
    • 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
    • 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
    • Commentary
    • In vv.1-2, the psalmist addresses himself to the just (God-fearing people, upright).
    • He asks them to exult, give thanks and praise God.
    • In v.4 the psalmist affirms that the word and works of God are upright and trustworthy, respectively.
    • In v.5, the psalmist affirms that God is a lover of justice and righteousness.
    • The psalmist also sees that the world is full of God’s kindness (mercy).
    • In vv.18-19, the psalmist encourages everyone to be God-fearing and God-hoping.
    • God takes care of them and spares them from death.
  • 9. Reflections on the Psalm
    • If we are God-fearing, we give praise to God. We recognize his power and his love.
    • Let us remember that if we are righteous and just, God protects us from harm and death.
    • To be under God’s protection always, we must live holy and righteous lives.
    • We do not violate his laws.
  • 10. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • 4 Come to him, a living stone , rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones , let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says in scripture: "Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone , chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame." 7 Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone ," 8 and "A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall." They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny. 9 But 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 focus is on the stone (Christ).
  • 11. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Living stone
    • 4 Come to him, a living stone , rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones , let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    • Cornerstone
    • 6 For it says in scripture: "Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone , chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame." 7 Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone ," 8 and "A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall." They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.
    • Chosen race
    • 9 But 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.
    A simple outline!
  • 12. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Living stone
    • 4 Come to him, a living stone , rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones , let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    • Commentary
    • The author / preacher invites the Christians to approach Jesus and to be incorporated into him.
    • He does this using similes and metaphors.
    • Jesus is a living stone (metaphor), v.4
    • Christians are like living stones (simile), v.5
    • Jesus is rejected by human beings (when they persecuted and crucified Him), but, in contrast, is chosen and precious in the eyes of God (resurrected him).
    • V.5 encourages Christians to organize themselves into a spiritual house.
  • 13. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Living stone
    • 4 Come to him, a living stone , rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones , let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    • We are living stones (stones of flesh and blood, raised by God) and are called to be united (organized) to become a holy priesthood. V.5
    • The term “holy priesthood” recalls the priesthood of the Old Testament, serving in the Temple.
    • By this time, there is no more Temple in Jerusalem. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
    • The author is writing at a much later date, about 100 AD.
  • 14. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Living stone
    • 4 Come to him, a living stone , rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, 5 and, like living stones , let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    • V.5 exhorts all Christians to be holy priests, who are able, in a different manner, to offer spiritual sacrifices.
    • Notice “spiritual sacrifices.” It is consistent with “spiritual house.”
    • Our being organized (as church) can offer sacrifices acceptable to God.
    • We do this through Christ.
    • The ancient Jews offered sacrifices to God without Christ.
    • We, Christians, always offer prayers to God through Christ.
    • Notice our liturgical prayers. It always ends with the phrase“through Christ our Lord”, or, some other similar formula.
  • 15. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Cornerstone
    • 6 For it says in scripture: "Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone , chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame." 7 Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone ," 8 and "A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall." They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.
    • In v.6, the author recalls Isaiah 28,16 to explain his point.
    • He applies it to Christ.
    • Christ is the stone
      • laid in Zion (Jerusalem)
      • cornerstone
      • chosen and precious
    • He who believes in it will not be shaken.
    • In v.6, the element of faith is introduced.
    • To this cornerstone, we must respond / react with faith .
    • V.7 follows up what is said in v.6.
      • To have faith .
    • Not to have faith in Him is rejecting the cornerstone.
    • But it makes people ( unbelievers ) stumble and fall.
    • They stumble because they disobey (no obedience of faith ).
  • 16. 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9
    • Chosen race
    • 9 But 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.
    • In contrast to those who don’t believe, we, Christians, are
      • A chosen race
      • A royal priesthood
      • A holy nation
      • A people of his own
    • These are heavy weight titles of Christian believers.
    • We are the new chosen people of God.
    • We exercise priestly functions.
    • We are set apart (to do a particular mission).
    • Our mission is to announce God’s praises, who does wonderful things for us.
  • 17. Reflections on the 2 nd reading
    • We, Christians, must realize the value of our faith .
    • Our faith in Christ incorporates us into our fellow believers.
    • God does not see us only as His individual children, but, as a nation… as a big group.
    • As a community , we can offer a better worship, better sacrifice acceptable to the Lord.
    • The text discourages individualistic piety and devotion.
    • We become strong, we have a big impact to the world, if we are united as one holy nation…
    • Let us make our presence felt through our unity .
  • 18. Gospel reading: John 14,1-12
    • Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where (I) am going you know the way ." 5 Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way ?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.
    The focus is on Jesus as the way …
  • 19. Gospel reading: John 14,1-12
    • Jesus speaks to the group
    • Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where (I) am going you know the way."
    • 5 Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
    • Jesus speaks to Thomas
    • 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
    • 8 Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
    • Jesus speaks to Philip
    • 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
    • Jesus speaks to the group
    • 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.
    A simple outline!
  • 20. Gospel reading: John 14,1-12
    • Jesus speaks to the group
    • 1 Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where (I) am going you know the way."
    • Commentary
    • In v.1, Jesus asks his disciples not to be troubled / disturbed, or, put into confusion.
    • He encourages them to have faith in God and in Him.
    • At this time, Jesus is bidding good bye to them (before His ascension).
    • In v.2, Jesus informs them, where He is going.
      • To His Father’s house, which has many dwelling places (rooms, abode, staying place).
    • Jesus promises a room for them.
    • His departure has a purpose for them.
      • In v.3, Jesus picks up what He has just said, “to prepare a room…”
    • Jesus acts like an HRM graduate.
    • In v.4, Jesus states that His disciples know the way where He is going.
    • Do they really know, from their point of view?
  • 21.
    • 5 Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
    • Jesus speaks to Thomas
    • 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.“
    • 8 Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
    • Jesus speaks to Philip
    • 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
    • Thomas is the first to ask a question. Jesus should not presume they know.
    • He asks how to know the way.
    • In v.6, Jesus says He is the way….
      • He is the way to the Father.
      • Jesus is the tangible sign / image of the Father. V.7
    • Philip is the second to ask (to demand): Produce the Father. V.8
    • V.9 shows some impatience of Jesus, “How long have I been with you….?”
    • Jesus laments that by this time, the disciples should have learned.
    • Jesus wonders why Philip asks, “Show us the Father.”
    • In v.10, Jesus reiterates His relationship with the Father.
    • He represents the Father.
    • He is the Father’s instrument in doing his works.
  • 22.
    • Jesus speaks to the group
    • 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.
    • In v.11, Jesus now speaks to the group (in plural as in v.1), telling the same thing, about his relationship with the Father.
    • In v.12, Jesus reminds that those who believe in Him do his works and even greater ones.
    • V.12 also reminds of His departure. His departure is a good reason for them to do more.
  • 23. Reflections on the gospel reading
    • The gospel reading makes a strong statement.
    • It is through Christ that we go to heaven and see the Father.
    • If we have no good relationship with Christ (through prayer and devotion to his words in the gospel), we will fail to reach heaven and see God.
    • Do you seek Christ? Do you know him really? Is Christ the center of your life?
    • Forget all your involvements in the church and your donations, if you are not close to Christ.
  • 24. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm
    • The first reading talks about the ministries of the Church.
    • The psalm talks about being just and righteous. We do righteous deeds .
    • The second reading encourages us to become built up in Christ.
    • The gospel reading teaches that to see heaven, we have to pass through Christ. He is non-negotiable in our lives.
    In our homilies, we must focus on doing the will of God.
  • 25. How to develop your homily / sharing
    • This Sunday, we are bombarded by the readings about doing God’s works .
    • We see in the first reading the apostles doing God’s works in their preaching.
      • They are dedicated to the ministry of the word.
      • They don’t want to be distracted by the material needs of the widows.
    • Another group takes care of the work for the well-being of the poor widows.
    • In the second reading , with our identity as a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a people set apart, we do God’s work by offering sacrifices and services acceptable to the Lord.
    • In the gospel reading , Jesus emphasizes that those who believe in Him and in the Father, will do the works of his Father even more than He did.
  • 26.
    • The disciples must move from just believing or having faith to actively doing the will of God.
    • Faith must be acted upon, or, it becomes stale.
    • It must respond to the needs of the times.
    • The needs of our times are aplenty:
      • Evangelization (integral evangelization, new evangelization, re-evangelization)
      • Wholesome liturgies (free from distractive behavior of some ministers)
      • Poverty alleviation
      • Organization (PPC, BEC, etc)
  • 27.
    • In our parish set up, we have to find our particular place, where we can contribute to the growth of the Church.
    • We take, with joy, particular tasks / responsibilities assigned to us as the expression of our faith and giftedness in our ministries.
      • WEST, WESTYFap, FLYMeWEST, etc.
    • It is a contradiction for a servant/minister to belong to a ministry, yet, he /she does not accept any task/ responsibility.
      • It is a first class shamelessness (kawalang-hiyaan).
    • Ministers are supposed to be hard working, always, like the Son, who imitates the Father working 24 hours a day.
    • On the other hand, our leaders must be able to animate / encourage people to do their tasks.
  • 28.
    • Regardless of our tasks, we have to realize that to be evangelizers, we have to be evangelized first, meaning, that we love and have devotion to the Word of God.
    • We get our strength and light from the Word of God, written in the Bible and proclaimed in the pulpit.
    • We cannot be true evangelizers if we have no time to encounter the Word of God.
    • True evangelizers carry along with them the Word of God to the people.
    • They talk about it and they live it… in the context of the life and mission of the Church.
  • 29.
    • The reception of the eucharist is the fruit of a good ministry.
    • In the eucharist , we receive Jesus, our cornerstone.
    • In the eucharist , we are encouraged to do more for God, to be more just, righteous and loving in our living.
  • 30. Our Context of Sin and Grace
    • Lazy
    • Tambay
    • Not involved in anyway
    • No time to study the faith and the Bible
    • Too small output due to Facebook and entertainment
    • Overworked, burnt-out priests
    • Ministry
    • Ordained ministers
    • Righteous and just living
    • Evangelized evangelizer
    • Gives time to study the Bible
    • Formed by the Word of God
    • Church workers
    • Pastoral workers
    The End!
  • 31. Suggested Songs
    • Come Build My Church by Chito Ranoa
      • http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v = dZugkzkgjDk
    • Restore My Church by Sebastian Temple
    • Priestly People by Lucien Deiss