We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.
Thursday, 14 May 2020
Acts 1:15–17, 20–26; Psalm 113:1–8; John 15:9–17
In the first reading Peter called for the election of Judas’ replacement. The criteria are clear: someone who had been with Jesus from the beginning and could witness to his resurrection. Ultimately, after praying for guidance, they left the choice to God’s will, as revealed through the casting of lots.
It was the community at the time that proposed the two choices. But I wonder if we had to do things today, who would our church community recommend? Who are the men – and women – that the community in our Church today is recognizing as meeting those criteria? Are we ‘witnesses to the resurrection’ in our lives? Can we become aware of those resurrection-moments in our own lives when we encounter Jesus? Because when we do, we are invited to love and to see the world as he sees it.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that we must keep the Ten Commandments to remain in God’s love. Sometimes, perhaps, we might see the commandments as a burden – but this is a mistake. The commandments in English are often translated as “You shall not”, but the Hebrew can be equally translated as “You will not”. I believe there’s a fundamental difference in the way we experience them. The first is a command. The second is a promise.
Why not reread the commandments today taking out ‘shall’ and replacing it with ‘will’, e.g. “I am the LORD your God; you will have no other gods before me.” And you will not kill, you will not commit adultery, you will not steal, etc. Let us remember the words from the Gospel: “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”