Celebrating Eastertide from Home: 5th Saturday of Easter
Opening to the Word
For the Lord is good;
God’s steadfast love endures for ever.
Quoniam suavis est Dominus,
in aeternum misericordia ejus
Psalm 99 (100):5
These are extraordinary words from Jesus.
Taken from the Last Supper discourse in John’s Gospel, the Gospel writer is reflecting something of the attitude towards Christians around the time this Gospel was written, i.e., c.90AD.
Jesus’ words are harsh towards the world, or at least towards those who would hate what the Kingdom stands for.
We know from elsewhere in the Bible – and in Tradition (traditio, “passing on”), which is also part of God’s revelation according to the Catholic Church – that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God; that God holds us in the palm of God’s hand; that, in Christ, all are equal in God’s eyes.
There is no longer Jew or Greek,
there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female;
for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ,
then you are Abraham’s offspring,
heirs according to the promise.
Jesus warns those who think themselves better than others, those who lord it over others:
It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
God is God of the poor,
of the little ones,
If God has any favourites, it will be the anawim (Hebrew: the poorest, the faithful remnant, the outcast and the stranger**).
God’s fundamental option is for the little ones in the world, the ones the world despises.
Mary sings of this in her “Magnificat”:
God casts the mighty from their thrones,
raises the lowly,
feeds the hungry
and sends the rich away empty.
We are called to make a similar fundamental option, to choose for the poor (and not just those with limited material goods), to live in solidarity with the little ones and to fight for justice and for peace.
This is not an easy option.
It is a spiritual choice.
Beati quorum via integra est,
qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Psalm 118 (119):1
At this time, pray that we may enter ever more deeply into the presence of God,
who longs to make God’s home with us.
Pray for those who bring light to those in darkness,
for those who bring hope where there is despair.
Pray for essential workers.
Pray for us all.
Music for reflection *
An Eastertide hymn
1 Blest be the everlasting God,
the Father of our Lord!
Be God’s abounding mercy praised,
and majesty adored!
2 When from the dead he raised his Son,
and called him to the sky,
God gave our souls a lively hope
that they should never die.
3 There’s an inheritance divine
reserved against that day;
’tis uncorrupted, undefiled,
and cannot fade away
4 Saints by the power of God are kept,
till that salvation come;
we walk by faith as strangers here,
till Christ shall call us home.
Isaac Watts, alt.
Alternative Eastertide Hymn (especially for the evening)
1 Stay with us Lord, for day is almost over;
Come to us in peace and greet us with your word.
You we have known, your love has sought and found us:
Speak to us now, our brother and our Lord.
2 Stay with us Lord, your word like fire within us
Sheds its searching light on all our despair:
We had forgotten you, the risen Master,
Taking our way, you talked with us there.
3 Stay with us Lord, and ever go before us,
Soon will your future dawn on us like day;
Stretch out your hand to hold and lead us always,
Gentle and strong one, Lord of our way.
The Lord’s Prayer
You can say this in any language you choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever. Amen.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié.
Que ton règne vienne.
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
comme nous pardonnons aussi
à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
whom truly to know is everlasting life:
grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ
to be the way, the truth, and the life,
that we may steadfastly follow his steps
in the way that leads to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Collects are from the Scottish Episcopal Church, 1982.
The hymn ‘Stay with us Lord’ by Alan Griffiths, is taken from ‘Hymns for Prayer & Praise‘.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
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