Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 11:1-18; Revelation 21:1-7; John 13:31-35
At critical moments throughout history, God has communicated various aspects of His salvation plan with Church leaders through supernatural visions. One of these visions came to Peter after Pentecost. God declared clean (Kosher) those foods which had formally been off limits to the Jewish people. That declaration applied not just to foods, but also to people. The Gentiles were no longer a people to be avoided as unclean. They, too, had become the object of divine affection – people who need to hear of the saving grace of Jesus Christ (Acts 11). Are there people you try to avoid, whom God is calling you to show kindness?
The apostle John also received a vision from God that revealed His plan for a new creation. What do we learn about the heavenly age to come? God will live in close communion with humanity, no longer separated by sin as heaven and earth are today. All pain and grief will be taken away, replaced with the joy of living in fellowship with Christ who will declare a second time, “It is finished!” (Rev 21)
Though not a vision, per se, Jesus did offer his disciples and us a vivid picture of what love looks like. He loved them by kneeling down and washing their dirty feet. It was a gesture of humility and servanthood – which we are called to imitate in the Church as a central part of our witness to the world. Lord Jesus, we marvel at the depth of your love for us. By water and Spirit, you have made us clean! (Jn 13)