Showing posts from April, 2012

The Fifth Sunday of Easter - 6 May 2012

The Fifth Sunday of Easter - 6 May 2012 Acts 8:26-40 Psalm 22:24-30 I John 4:7-21 St. John 15:1-8                                                                                     Background: St. Philip This man, born in Bethsaida in Galilee, was one of the apostles chosen by Jesus.   His feast day is on 1 May, where he is honored with James “the Less”.   Philip brought his friend Nathanael to see Jesus, and was present at the feeding of the 5,000 in the Gospel of John.   He is also associated with a group of Greeks who come wishing to see Jesus.   In the first lesson for today, we have a rather interesting account of his meeting with an Ethiopian Eunuch.   Perhaps Philip’s connection with the Gentiles occasioned this story reported by Luke in the Acts.   The eunuch represents not only someone outside of Judaism due to his birth, but also to his status as a eunuch, and Acts seems to rejoice in the number of “outsiders” who are called to walk with Jes

The Fourth Sunday of Easter - 29 April 2012

The Fourth Sunday of Easter - 29 April 2012 Acts 4:5-12 Psalm 23 I John 3:16-24 St. John 10:11-18                                                                                     Background: Ancient Shepherds This Sunday is often referred to as “Good Shepherd Sunday” owing to the themes of the psalm and Gospel reading.   Shepherding is an ancient profession that acquired some religious associations especially among Jews and Christians.   The profession began some 6,000 years ago, especially in Asia Minor, where the animals were kept for their milk, meat, and wool.   Shepherding is a mobile enterprise, with the flock moving from pasture to pasture; and it is notable that the patriarchs of the Hebrew Scriptures were largely keepers of goats and sheep, with the younger sons (cf. David) keep watch over the flocks.   The flocks were kept in the mountainous areas of the land, as opposed to the lowlands where grain was grown.   The antipathy between these