Acts 18:9-18; John 16:20-23a
Trust in God and share Good News
In the first reading from Acts, Paul is told “do not be afraid and do not be silent.” The Lord assures Paul, “I am with you.” This message is meant for us, for we are not called to live in fear or fearful silence. We are called to speak Good News with our words and our actions. We are called to testify that our Redeemer lives and is with us. One challenge for me to accept is that Jesus, our Redeemer, lives in me, and in us! I can always find ways in which our world fails in the categories of justice, mercy, hope, love, and care for all. Of course, when I find those ways of the world that do not measure up to a life in Christ, I am forced to confront my own sins and failings. I am not always just, merciful, loving, hopeful, and caring to all. So I need to admit my sins and change my life, which is often a long process for me.
In spite of personal and communal sins, we are called to be Christ to one another, every day, all day! Jesus is present with us and in our world in a way that was unimaginable before the resurrection. Because of the resurrection Jesus is available to all in ways that are not limited by space and time. We have seen God’s face in our brothers and sisters, and we have heard the Spirit speaking in our hearts and in the voices of others in our community. My challenge is to trust that God is with me and all of us, despite my fears and nagging doubts about my own faith.
Am I enough, Jesus? Can you really change my heart and transform me into a more generous, forgiving, and loving person? Can you change me so that despite my flaws and shortcomings, I welcome others with good news of your love, mercy, forgiveness, and hope? These are some of my questions, as I sit with Jesus, who loves us and redeems us all.
Our lives as humans and as children of the One God are full of grief and joy, ups and downs, triumphs and failures. Just as Jesus was transformed in his suffering, death, and resurrection, so too can our grief and fear be transformed into joy and courage. Jesus is present with us when we weep and when we laugh, when we doubt and when we are full of faith. We are invited to continue to seek Jesus in prayer and quiet, and trust in the presence of Jesus’ Spirit with us, both individually and as a community. I pray for the grace for all of us to listen to the voice of Jesus speaking in Scripture, our Church, and in our world community.
May we continue to believe in the resurrected Jesus’ presence among us, as God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and we become part of God’s presence in a world that needs healing, hope, love, and forgiveness.
Resurrected Jesus, give us Easter ears to hear your message and respond in joy every day. Alleluia!
By Marty Kalkowski