Readings for Sunday, May 5, 2013
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Can't You See the Mighty Warrior?
How often you ask,
What is my path?
What is my cure?
He has made you a seeker of Unity,
isn't that enough?
All your sorrow exists for one reason -
that you may end sorrow forever.
The desire to know your own soul
will end all other desires.
The smell of bread has reached you -
if that aroma fills you with delight
what need is there for bread?
If you have fallen in love,
that love is proof enough;
If you have not fallen in love,
what good is all your proof?
Can't you see? -
If you are not the King
what meaning is there
in a kingly entourage?
If the beautiful one is not inside you
what is that light
hidden under your cloak?
From a distance you tremble with fear -
Can't you see the mighty warrior
standing ready in your heart?
The fire of his eyes
has burned away every veil,
So why do you remain behind the curtain,
scared of what you cannot see? -
Open your eyes! The Beloved
is staring you right in the face!
If a master has not placed
His light in your heart,
What joy can you find in this world? -
every flower is lifeless,
and sweet wine has no taste.
~ Rumi ~
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29)
Some came down from Judea to instruct the believers: “Unless you follow exactly the traditions of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Because there arose dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
The apostles and the elders, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and send them to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas. Those chosen were leaders of the community, Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas. They were to deliver this letter:
“The apostles and the elders send greetings to the sisters and brothers of Gentile origin in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. Since we have heard that some of our number without any instructions from us have upset you with their discussions and disturbed your peace of mind, we have unanimously decided to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated themselves to the name of Jesus Christ. Those whom we are sending you are Judas and Silas, who will convey this message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.
A reading from the book of Revelation (Rev 21:10-14, 22-23)
The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.
THE HOLY GOSPEL
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (Jn 14:23-29)
“If you love me, you will hold to my words,
and God who sent me will love you; we will come to God
and there we will make our home together.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine, but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you truly loved me, you would rejoice to have me go to the One who sent me, who is greater than I.
I tell you this now, before it takes place, so that when it happens, you may believe.”