May 2, 2019
by Barbara J. Dilly
Creighton University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 270

Acts 5:27-33
Psalms 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20
John 3:31-36

Celebrating Easter

Easter Prayer for Today

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The Servant Girl At Emmaus

Don't Work for Food that Perishes

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

The lessons for today bring me to reflect on what it means to be alleluia people – to be Easter people.  We are people who have not seen, but as Easter people, we believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  For this, we are greatly blessed.  We also have the gift of the Spirit, and so therefore we too can testify to the truth of Christ in the world.  And while many before us, and still in these times, are persecuted and even killed for teaching the words of God in the name of Jesus, we are not to be deterred.  Today we memorialize St. Athanasius who was placed in exile five times for his teachings in defense of the Nicene faith and against heresies that diminished the significance of the Trinity.  He just didn’t give up.  I am much encouraged by the persistent faith of St. Athanasius and others like him who built for us our strong faith traditions through their teaching and witness to the truths of the Gospel. 

But these traditions are not enough.  We don’t worship and praise our traditions or even the saints.  We praise a living Lord who takes an active interest in our lives and the lives of all who call upon the Lord.  The saints remind us that each of us must stand firm on our faith even if we are not assigned the tasks of theological scholarship as was the case with St. Athanasius.  As Easter people, each in our own way, we are emboldened by our faith to identify with the cries of the poor and the crushed spirits of the broken hearted.  As Easter people, we can bless the Lord at all times because we believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For whatever our troubles and the troubles of others, we can take them on, trusting that the Lord hears us and delivers us.  Like St. Athanasius, we shouldn’t give up.  Alleluia!

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