Reflection for April 16, 2020: Thursday in the Octave of Easter.
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|I see today's readings as before and after pictures. The second reading is nearly at the end of Luke's Gospel. In this account Jesus is risen, but there is still doubt and questioning among the apostles. The first reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles, which is essentially the continuation of Luke's Gospel. It narrates events from only a few weeks later than those in the Gospel passage. This third chapter in Acts shows the apostles acting with faith and confidence.|I think of where we are today. At the start of Lent on February 26th we could see the clouds gathering, but the impact of what was to come had not sunk in. I see parallels between our experience and that of the apostles. As we traced the events of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem in Lenten readings, there were moments of confidence, but one could see discontent with Jesus increasing among the authorities. Jesus himself would speak about how the worst was yet to come. The apostles reached a bottom where it seemed that all hope was lost. Although the events of Easter brought some hope and joy, we see in today's Gospel that they were still plagued with fears and doubts. Jesus even needs to eat to show them that He is real. He needs to reassure the apostles and remind them of the point of these events. Over the last weeks I see myself on the same kind of rollercoaster ride as the apostles.|Then there is the first reading. We see Peter and John transformed. They are now the ones explaining the point of these events. They reach out to the crowds who have undergone the huge mood swings with respect to Jesus. What has changed with Peter and John? What will transform the community? The Holy Spirit was made manifest. In the previous chapter of Acts, apostles had their Pentecost experience. Perhaps this is a hint that in these times I need to be reopening myself to the Spirit.|Today's psalm passage extolls man's dominion over the earth. This seems far from today's reality. As someone who likes to be in control, I have been humbled in a time when things are not in my hands. I need to develop hope and trust.|This was a year when Easter just did not seem like Easter. Today the feeling of resurrection seems very distant to me. Many of us are confined to our homes in ways not totally dissimilar to the apostles locking themselves away in that upper room. Here is where the first reading offers some hope (at least to me). The time between Easter and Pentecost was a time of uncertainty for the apostles. I see my world as uncertain. My hope and my prayer are that after this Lenten and Easter experience I may be open to the transformation of Pentecost.|Dear Lord,|The world about me changes profoundly week to week.|I am bothered by my inability to control my destiny.|Help me to find strength in my weakness and to let God be God.|Grant me awareness of the resurrection around me.|Allow me to grow in hope and trust.|Open my heart to your Spirit.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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