The conversion of St. Paul reveals how God’s grace can transform our lives. Once an enemy of the Christian faith, Paul went on to become one of its greatest champions, and his New Testament letters continue to inspire disciples today.
These two heavy hitters are remembered today, not because they were perfect; rather, they accepted the grace from God that they received and made an offering of their lives to the Lord. May they inspire us today!
Serve: What do the readings do or make me say…today?
Let’s take a look at some of the major themes that appear in the Scripture readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter.
1st Reading – Acts 9:26-31
Barnabas brings Saul (St. Paul) before the Apostles, who learn how God has worked through him.
The Holy Spirit builds up the early Church.
All people shall bow down before the Lord.
Note: this Psalm is extraordinary…verses 1-21 focus on the suffering of the righteous servant of God (Jesus), while verses 22-31 are all about God’s triumph. Give yourself a treat and read it straight through, and think about how it applies to the death and resurrection of Christ.
2nd Reading – 1 John 3:18-24
The Lord commands us to love one another, especially through our actions.
By following the Lord’s commands, we remain in him through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gospel – John 15:1-8
Christ is the vine, we are the branches; the Father tends and prunes the branches so that we bear fruit.
By staying connected to Christ – the vine – we remain in him and he remains in us.