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Proclaiming the Message of Life: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Posted by Guest Blogger on 4/22/16 2:36 PM

The Message of Life through the Resurrection of Christ
Image: Altarpiece picture of Johan Ludvig Gebhard Lund (1777-1867) in Saint Peter's Church, Copenhagen.

As the weekend approaches, reflect on this week's readings through the lens of life—the life of Christ and the sacredness of all human life. This reflection is taken from Proclaiming the Message of Life: Weekly Reflections from the Lectionary by Fr. Frank A. Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C

Readings: Acts 14:21–27 • Revelation 21:1–5a • John 13:31–33a, 34–35

Tying this Sunday’s readings to the theme of life brings us right to the powerful promise in the second reading, from Revelation 21, “There shall be no more death.”

The Easter season celebrates the basis of this promise: Christ has conquered the kingdom of death by his own death and resurrection, and he has given us a share in this victory through our baptism.

Moreover, the victory embraces the entire universe, spiritual and physical: “I…saw a new heaven and a new earth.” Any power that death exercises now, through evils like abortion, is a temporary and fleeting power; it has lost both its foundation and finality. The Church proclaims the gospel of life with utter confidence, and we are to engage in pro-life activities with the same confidence.

We do not just work for victory; we work from victory.

Christ’s victory over death, which we now share, is a victory to which we give expression by changing the shape of society and its policies. We are called to bring this world into line with the truths of a culture of life. A new heaven and new earth have already begun in Christ and the Church.

“Behold, I make all things new.”

These are words God speaks daily. He speaks them to us and through us. This new order of reality, in which death no longer has the final word, is the context in which the Lord says that his commandment “love one another” is “new.”

The law and the prophets had already instructed love; but only in Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death can love and life have the final word. Only in him can we love with a divine as well as human love. Only in him can we love the vulnerable and the unborn and all people, with the very love that he has. Only in him can we “undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (first reading).

FR. FRANK PAVONE is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He is the National Director of Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church. He is also the president of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion.

 Proclaiming the Message of Life by Fr. Frank Pavone

Topics: life