Daily Reflection
May 8th, 2001
Rev. Richard Gabuzda
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Acts 11:19-26
Psalms 87:1-3, 4-5, 6-7
John 10:22-30

Unexpected New Life

What a disaster!  At least up to this time, the small band who followed the Risen One was able to abide in some measure of peace with those who opposed them.  Now, there was open persecution.  The stoning of Stephen unleashed the forces which were convinced of the need to destroy this band of renegades.  As though a great wave had struck them, the community was scattered far from Jerusalem.

They were dispersed—but “in exile” continued to proclaim the Name.  They preached first to Jews, then even to Gentiles.  So many became believers that they needed to recruit Paul to help with the instruction of these newcomers!  Suddenly, in the wake of disaster, the Name had been brought beyond the bounds of Israel and beyond Israel’s faith.  Unbelievable!  How to interpret these events?  Coincidence?  A happy result from an unhappy event?  No, the shadow of the Crucified One looms large over this scene.  He had to suffer and so enter into his glory.  The Crucified One promises not good things in spite of bad, but life through death.

Where has “death,” literally or figuratively, entered into your life?  Where has disaster unexpectedly burst into an otherwise peaceful life?  Faith not only encourages us, but compels us to look for the Risen One’s power bringing life through death.  Do we see it?  Are we looking for it?

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