Sunday Bible Reflections
Today’s Gospel begins with a scene that recalls a similar moment in the history of Israel, the episode recalled in today’s First Reading. The seventy elders who receive God’s Spirit through Moses prefigure the ministry of the Apostles.
Like Joshua in the First Reading, John makes the mistake of presuming that only a select few are inspired and entrusted to carry out God’s plans. The Spirit blows where it wills (see John 3:8), and God desires to bestow His Spirit on all the people of God in every nation under heaven (see Acts 2:5, 38).
God, who formed us in His imperishable image, did not intend for us to die, we hear in today’s First Reading. Death entered the world through the devil’s envy and Adam and Eve’s sin; as a result, we are all bound to die.
But in the moving story in today’s Gospel, we see Jesus liberate a little girl from the possession of death.
Readings: Job 38:1, 8-11 Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 Mark 4:35-41 “Do you not yet have faith?” Our Lord’s question in today’s Gospel frames the Sunday liturgies for the remainder of the year, which the Church calls “Ordinary Time.” In the weeks ahead, the Church’s liturgy will have us journeying with Jesus and His…
In the cryptic message of the prophet Ezekiel, long centuries before the Lord’s coming, God gave His people reason to hope. Ezekiel glimpsed a day when the Lord God would place a tree on a
mountain in Israel, a tree that would “put forth branches and bear fruit.” Who could have predicted that the tree would be a cross on the hill of Calvary, and that the fruit would be salvation?
All of today’s readings are set in the context of the Passover. The First Reading recalls the old covenant celebrated at Sinai following the first Passover and the Exodus.
In sprinkling the blood of the covenant on the Israelites, Moses was symbolizing God’s desire in this covenant to make them His family, His “blood” relations.
Quoting Moses’ words in today’s Gospel, Jesus elevates and transforms this covenant symbol to an extraordinary reality. In the new covenant made in the blood of Christ, we truly become one with His
body and blood.
Last Sunday, we celebrated the sending of the Spirit, which sealed God’s new covenant and made a new creation.
In this new creation, we live in the family of God, who has revealed himself as a Trinity of love. We share in His divine nature through His Body and Blood (see 2 Peter 1:4). This is the meaning of the three feasts that cap the Easter season— Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi.
The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.
The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s chosen people in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (see Leviticus 23:15–21; Deuteronomy 16:9–11).