Faith and Values
Reflection: The Seventh Sunday of Easter
We have now entered the last week of the Easter Season, between the great feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles features the apostles returning to the upper room after the Ascension to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are told they pray together for the Spirit to come and Mary prays with them expectantly. This is one of the last times she is mentioned in the New Testament. The Church, therefore, holds Mary as the perfect pattern of the follower of Jesus at prayer. This is the first nine-day Novena and all novenas have their origins in Mary and the apostles praying unremittingly for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Gospel concludes the High Priestly Prayer of Christ, part of the farewell discourses from John. Jesus prays for His followers and all who will come to believe in Him through them. His priestly task is completed; it is for the Church to continue his work, to give eternal life to the world. There will be trials and persecutions ahead, but the Church faces them with joy and peace of mind, in the strength of the Holy Spirit; and so the Church grows. As Jesus reminds us, “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave, I have conquered the world.”