English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

White Robes

Fourth Sunday of Easter

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Good Shepherd

Today’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles is one of several turning points in the self-under-standing of the early Church. Paul evokes the image of “A light to the Gentiles.” Some thought that Gentiles, non-Jews, were somehow marginal in God’s eyes. The Gentiles in Paul’s audience rejoice, because they now see that they are not “second class” members of God’s family, but fully part of God’s beloved people. The story continues by noting the resistance from those who enjoy “first class” status in the community, as inclusion of the Gentiles was perceived as a threat to their self-image and privilege. The book of Acts continues to challenge today’s societies, churches, and organizations. Luke’s vision of God’s family, unit-ed as equal heirs to the Kingdom of God, confronts our many barriers of wealth, race, gender, and much more. We are invited to give witness to this vision in our life together as the Church.

Our reading from the Book of Revelation presents the image of God’s people before God’s throne, wearing robes that are washed white in the blood of the Lamb. A robe, especially when worn in God’s presence, is meant to express the real truth about the person. A white robe indicates their purity. The washing in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) suggests that the people have met much suffering, and in some manner, have participated in the suffering of Jesus. These passages were written to a people experiencing great tribulations in living their faith. But the author of Revelation does not suggest that anyone should seek out suffering for its own sake. He does not make suffering somehow a necessary entry pass for salvation. Our sufferings come from many sources, and suffering is a profound mystery. The image of washing in blood suggests that God is present within our suffering. God accompanies our suffering, leads us toward refreshment, and will wipe every tear from our eyes.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42:2-3; 43:3, 4; Jn 10:1-10
Tuesday: Acts 11:19-26; Ps 87:1b-7; Jn 10:22-30
Wednesday: Acts 12:24 — 13:5a; Ps 67:2-3, 5-6, 8; Jn 12:44-50
Thursday: Acts 13:13-25; Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27; Jn 13:16-20
Friday: Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2:6-11ab; Jn 14:1-6
Saturday: Acts 1:15-17; Ps 113:1-8; Jn 15:9-17
Sunday: Acts 14:21-27; Ps 145:8-13; Rv 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Easter; Mother’s Day; World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Tuesday: St. Damien de Veuster; St. John of Avila
Thursday: Ss. Nereus and Achilleus; St. Pancras
Friday: Our Lady of Fatima
Saturday: St. Matthias