|Edward Hicks, "Peaceable Kingdom," 1833|
We have arrived at the Sixth Week of Easter, and continue to bask in the glow of the story of the growth of the early Church in Acts, the vision of heaven from the Book of Revelation, and the consolation of Jesus’ words to the Apostles in the Upper Room from John. It’s a trifecta of glory in these Readings.
If last Sunday we noted a “kingdom of love” theme, this week we notice an emphasis on the idea of the “kingdom of peace.” In Acts (1st Reading) we see the measures that were necessary to keep peace in the early Church. In Revelation (2nd Reading) we see the peace of Eden restored in the heavenly New Jerusalem. In the Gospel we see Jesus bestowing his supernatural peace on the disciples.
1. The First Reading is Acts 15:1-2, 22-29. Because this reading skips Acts 15:3-21, which I think is very important for understanding the significance of the passage, I have spliced in the missing text below, to aid our understanding: