The readings from Acts and from John both lead the reader to the centrality of Jesus. I wish I could provide a reflection that was more uplifting, but my reflection grows out of where I am today. The readings make it seem easier and more miraculous than my experience. I see a world that is much more complex. I see a world in need of a savior. I continue to have hope. I can and do pray.
The passages from Acts and John were both written in a time of turmoil. My family is very fortunate. We have many gifts. Nevertheless, I look at this world and I worry. I see our nation in a difficult situation. I see problems that are multifaceted, and I do not see clear cut answers.
I find many people who are discouraged. It seems to be harder to share the transformation that faith brings. I find it more difficult to convince myself of the positive impact of those with faith on this world. In today’s readings, it is easier to put myself in the role of the Ethiopian trying to find meaning or a member of the crowd that Jesus addresses. Today my faith journey does not draw me into the character of Philip or Jesus or even the newly baptized Christian. I feel as if I am one of the chosen who is given the manna in the desert; I see myself as someone who has been given gifts in this world but who still longs for the more that the Gospel offers. I want to experience the life-giving bread.
I do not give up, but I find myself praying more and more for those around me. This Easter season has not brought me peace in the Resurrection, but seems to have given more worry and concern. I find myself more in need of the Pentecost.
My consolation today lies in the nature of the Easter season for the apostles. The time shortly after the Resurrection seems not to have been the time for peace and clarity. It seems to have been a time of doubt and confusion. The stories and the signs of transcendence are there, but the experience has not yet come together. I have discovered that I am a Christian who, rather than spending Lent longing for Easter, spends his Easter season longing for the Pentecost.
Today I pray for my family. I pray for my world. I pray for those suffering and down-hearted. I pray for the life that the Spirit brings.
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