Springtime brings new hope to peoples’ lives and hope brings joy. The world of nature unfolds with emerging shoots, birth of animals, spring flowers, increased daylight hours and more sunshine. However, grief, sadness, despair, loneliness and isolation abound in the world also, due to poverty and infringement of human rights. Never have these feelings been so pronounced worldwide, on such a large scale for a long time in history. The corona virus hit the whole world at one time and it recurs in one country or continent then another in these past months, bringing a sense of insecurity and vulnerability. Life is fragile. In such a climate, some people despair and some remain hopeful and trust for better times to come.
Today, the Church celebrates the feasts of Saints Philip and James. Philip was born at Bethsaida. He was formerly a disciple of John the Baptist and he became a follower of Christ. St James was the son of Alphaeus and he was a cousin of our Lord. He ruled the Church at Jerusalem and lived a life of penance. He wrote an epistle (letter) and he converted many people to the faith and in the year 62 died by martyrdom.
The reading at Mass today (1 Cor 15:1-8) proclaims Paul speaking to the people of Corinth and he reminds them of the Good News. The news is good because it confirms the peoples’ hope in the resurrection. Paul tells them that he has passed on to them the teaching he received himself, ‘that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, that he was raised to life on the third day, that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve.’ He continues saying that he appeared to five hundred of the brothers, to James and to all the apostles. Paul acknowledges last of all he appeared to him. In this teaching, Paul presents the resurrection as a fact to them. From this, there are consequences for our own resurrection. We know and believe because there are witnesses. This is our hope in life today. No matter what the circumstances Jesus is present. We too are witnesses.
The Gospel (Jn 14:6-14) proclaims Jesus conversation with Thomas and Philip. Jesus identifies himself, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ Philip persists with Jesus and wants to see the Father. Jesus challenges him in his response and explains that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Jesus promises two things. He says that if anyone believes in Jesus he/ she will do the same works (and even greater ones) that Jesus did. He also promises that anyone who asks Jesus for anything he will do it. Do we believe this Good News?
This Scripture fills followers of Jesus with hope. Disciples follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Disciples can live life to the full in times of joy and sorrow, as they pray and reflect on his word and his works. They pray in trust and with confidence that if he/she asks for anything in His name, Jesus will do it.
The Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme supports the theme of hope and the resurrection with online resources including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Children’s e-book. These are available on the Grow in Love website available at:
- In your Bible, find the letter of James in the New Testament. Read what he says about treating the rich and the poor equally (James 2:1-4).
- Pray a decade of the Rosary today with a family member in honour of Our Lady this month of May. As it is Monday, you might choose on of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
- Pray the Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh, Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal
- Look out your window or go for a walk and notice all the signs of Spring in the world of nature
- May is the month of Mary. You might like to make a space in your house for a statue or an image of Mary, Mother of God. You might find some fresh spring flowers or blossoms to honour her.
Sr Anne Neylon