5th Sunday of Easter 2020

This weekend is Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May, beginning the fifth week of Easter.  

The King’s Singers sing Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. ‘I have never put my hope in any other but in you’. As I begin this time of prayer today, can I speak those words to God?  Pondering for a moment on how much God loves me, and placing all my faith and all my hope in him?  

This weekend’s reading is from the first letter of Peter.  

1 Peter 2:4-9

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected    has become the very head of the corner’, and ‘A stone that makes them stumble,  and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.  

In this reading Peter speaks to the small communities of believers who are in the provinces of Asia Minor. At a time when Christians were suffering persecution, they are assured that although they do not have the legacy of temples and priestly lineage, they have Jesus Christ. Peter reminds them that Jesus had identified with “the stone that the builders rejected” and transformed himself into the “corner stone”. As the living foundation of the faith, all who follow Jesus become ‘living stones’ of a holy house connected through faith. Each person chosen and called by Jesus is holy and precious, each life is gifted through and to God.

How does this passage speak to you at time when our churches are closed, and the liturgies and sacraments we have grown up with are remote or carried out behind closed doors? How do you feel without the regular Sunday routine and community around you? Have you experienced any sense of renewal or innovation in your prayer life?

Listen to the reading again, hearing Peter calling to the ‘living stones’ of faith and consider your response to this affirmation and appeal.

Do you feel like a ‘living stone’ today? A part of the Church? Talk to the Lord about this now, as one friend speaks to another…  

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.