Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
By and large we all seem to respond -- however imperfectly -- to the great events of our lives. Moments of birth in our families and times of death alter the way we ordinarily proceed. We stop to appreciate, to evaluate, to react! We buy gifts, we pray, we spread the word, we gather. Our emotions match the moment: gladness, grief, and anything in between.
This is what makes the text of the Acts of the Apostles so full of life. Like you and I, the people of Jerusalem and beyond are responding to a great moment of their lives (and, ultimately, of ours too)! We see confusion and celebration and concern. Something big has happened, and people are on the move!
The Church well nourishes our Easter reality these days with readings of men and women on the move, charged with a Christian spirit. The Easter event has not gone unnoticed. A trial. A crucifixion. A resurrection? Quite the combination! Our scene from Acts today shows more and more people affected and, subsequently, more and more people responding. And though the process isn't always easy, from our vantage point as readers of today's Scripture we see a great Christian contagion at work.
The Gospel provides an important insight to accompany the activity of Acts. It's not necessarily a post-Easter Gospel, but it speaks to a post-Easter reality. The disciples, frightened, face the uncertainty of darkness. Winds swirl and waves rise as this group looks to proceed without the physical presence of Jesus. And yet, in the end, and in a way mysterious indeed, Jesus is with this group. "...Do not be afraid." In the end his advice is rather simple. Bold, too.
It's advice we can heed today in our own post-Easter reality. An expanded version might say this: Yes, something big has happened, and I need you -- each in your own way -- to respond. As scary as it can be, don't be intimidated by confusion and uncertainty. It's important to respond. It may seem like I'm not with you, but I am.
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