As we move through Easter time, it is fascinating to see how the apostles are presented in the Gospels as compared with how they are presented in the Acts of the Apostles. In the Gospels, we have sad, confused, scared people, who are often hiding in the upper room for fear of the religious authorities. In the Acts of the Apostles, we have people bravely proclaiming the story of Jesus and curing in His Name, often in direct disobedience to the religious authorities. Peter boldly proclaims, “we must obey God, rather than people.” That is not someone who would be hiding in a locked room!
What happened? What turned these cowering people into brave proclaimers of Jesus? The gift of the Holy Spirit! Pentecost was the turning point: those who had been hiding in fear burst out onto the streets, publicly proclaiming Jesus as Lord and curing in His name. That was the beginning of the Church and, under the guidance of the Spirit, it grew quickly.
This is the same Holy Spirit that we receive at baptism and
confirmation, the Spirit who strengthens us to live as Christ did, bringing His love and compassion to others. By presenting these contrasting pictures of the earliest disciples, the Church is inviting us, during this period leading up to the celebration of Pentecost, to
reflect on the gift we have been given to help us in our lives as
That is what we celebrate in Easter time, which will culminate in our celebration of Pentecost: the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are not just remembering that Jesus is risen; we are celebrating that He is
walking with us always through His gift of the Holy Spirit.
I invite us during these days leading up to Pentecost to become more aware of the Spirit in our lives. The Spirit will always guide us, but we need to be listening. That is why I spend quiet time each day, allowing the Spirit to talk to me. If you are not doing the same, I
invite you to start; you will never be sorry. Jesus is truly risen and His Spirit is with us always! Let’s make sure we are paying attention. God bless.
Church sign of the week: I’m so glad I learned about parallelograms instead of how to do taxes. It came in so handy this parallelogram season.