Fifth Sunday in Easter - Year A
SEVEN REPUTABLE MEN
Today we see the beginning of the organizational structure of the Church. The apostles had established a sort of free soup kitchen in Jerusalem. A problem quickly arose because of a division among the Jews. Those who were born inside of Israel tended to look down on those born outside. The non-Israeli Jews--aka "Hellenists" or Greeks--tried to make themselves more "orthodox" to demonstrate their faith. This split continued among converts to Christianity.
The apostles resolved to settle the squabble by appointing seven waiters to see to an equitable food distribution. In time they would be called "Deacons". Later the church would also ordain women as deaconesses.
WHOEVER HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER
Philip plays only a small role in the Gospels, but here is role is pivotal. Jesus has warned his apostles that he is leaving--probably a reference to his death and ascension. Philip responds to Jesus' claim that they "have seen the Father". Like the other apostles, he has not comprehended the depth of Christ's identity. He can see only the man and not the God. Our Lord expresses the nature of his person and his unity with the Father. It is a clear statement that he is God. In the beauty of Jesus we see the qualities of God because Jesus is divine. What do we see in Jesus? Surely among his attributes are love, mercy, compassion, strength, humility, self-sacrifice...in short all that is good and nothing that is wrong.
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