Liturgical Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter

This week’s readings’ focus is on our calling as priests. It is from today’s second reading that the Church teaches – The baptised have become “living stones” to be “built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.” By Baptism we share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that [we] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers. (CCC 1268).

The question then is: How do we live out our calling to become “priests that are becoming obedient to the faith”? To do this, we first need to understand what a priest does – a priest is one who prays, intercedes, offers sacrifices, preaches, and acts as a mediator to bring God to the people and vice versa. This is what we are called to do in our common priesthood, as the baptised.

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). As priests, we are called to be the gateway to our Father, as we become the gateway for others to know Him, through the living grace that we receive by answering His call.

While we have a priestly role, we cannot forget our prophetic role, that as the laity, we have a duty to go out into the world and make the Good News known. One way of doing this is through the way we go about our daily work. Just like the seven reputable men in the first reading who were appointed to the task of ensuring fair, daily distribution to the community, we can view our work as what we have been tasked to by God for the betterment of the society at large. When our work becomes difficult, our priestly role to offer ourselves as a sacrifice comes to the forefront. In bearing the difficulties of our work with a joyful spirit, we become the cheerful giver God loves and at the same time, exuding the attractiveness of Christ to the people around us, our prophetic role is exhibited.

How else can we live out the common priesthood in our daily lives? In a world filled with secularism and humanism, we can start by taking small, progressive steps in showing our faith to others. This can involve simple steps like praying the grace before meals and making it a clear symbol of our faith to others in public. As we continue to grow and others become more inquisitive about our way of life, we must become bolder and be prepared to bring our faith beyond ritualistic actions.

Living our priestly role includes the prophetic role: The preaching of the Word of God. In John chapter 1, the Word of God is revealed to be Jesus Himself. In a world that is confused and often swayed by popular opinion, it becomes all the more important to be bold in preaching this Word, as Jesus says in today’s Gospel “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6).

The world today has distorted the truth and encourages people to seek fulfilment in life through materialism and worldly pleasures. Thus, the Word of God is crucial to guide people back as Psalm 119 says “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”.

Let us then not be afraid to go out today and always cling on to Jesus’ exhortation of “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1).

Theodore Yzelman & Jordan Hong