May 12, 2020
by Jeanne Schuler
Creighton University's Philosophy Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 286

Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13AB, 21
John 14:27-31A

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Doubting Comes from
Being Out of Communion

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

Here is a link to a reflection from the archives on today's readings.

When the Walls Come Down

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  (Acts of the Apostles 16:30)

First the crowd beat them.  Their call to follow Jesus had upset the local oracle trade.  To quash the intruders, the magistrates locked up Paul and Silas and charged the jailer to stay watchful.  Then nature intervenes.  An earthquake shook loose chains and doors, but the prisoners did not flee.  Even when the officials told them to go, Paul and Silas, as Roman citizens, demanded a hearing.  With charges dropped, the officials begged them to leave Philippi.  The jailer, his life spared, was amazed.  Who are these intrepid followers?  And “please show me the way.”  He listens and repents.  Fear washed away like a sudden shower.  In jail no more, he bowed down to clean their wounds and feed them.  His eyes opened and new life came into his household.

In my youth we boycotted lettuce.  Wrapped in plastic, lettuce was shipped from faraway fields. We knew nothing of the labor behind the produce in the grocery aisle.  Then people showed up with stories of farmworkers and their struggle for justice.  Our eyes were opened.  Consumers and workers were strangers no longer.  We came together. 

A virus sweeps across the country and what is hidden comes into view.  We see workers shoulder to shoulder on the meat-packing line.  Patients are jammed into hallways awaiting beds in ICU.  Workers deemed essential show up daily and risk their health.  Immigrants are locked in camps without protection.  Elderly faces appear in nursing home windows to look for family.  Jails crowded with those who lack bail, now face illness.  Emergency funds for stricken Indian nations take weeks to arrive.  Outside the U.S., the pandemic spreads through lands with scarce resources.

Walls come down slowly.  We are packed like sausage in privilege.  It takes months to translate “wash your hands and don’t car pool” into the many languages spoken in the towns with processing plants.  We can’t whistle outside the walls when we glimpse the other side.

What must we do to be saved?  Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Bring us together.  Help us to hear your voice in the cacophony.  Open our eyes and show us the way.  

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