Acts 11:1-18; John 10:11-18
The readings today don't appear to be “cut and dried” but rather ominous. As we experience the 4th week of Easter we are given some insight into the establishment of the early church. The first apostles, who lived with Jesus, were privileged and yet may have struggled in their conversion to accept that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and they are now faced with how to live their lives following the will of God. The readings from Acts show a little uncertainty as to how the life of Jesus changed their faith tradition and beliefs.
We, and those first followers of Jesus, are introduced to the concept of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating”; and “John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
In the Gospel we are given an image of God as a gatekeeper, whom we can trust to lead and guide us as we make our way through this life on earth. As Christians today, who are not privileged to actually live with Jesus, we are called “to get to know” the Son of God thorough the events recorded in the Gospels. We can take comfort in gaining insight, knowledge and direction by reading and reflecting upon the Gospels. By paying attention to what Jesus said and did while living on earth, we are given opportunities to grow in our understanding of who Jesus is and the lessons we can learn from Him. The life and lessons of Jesus come alive in the Gospel readings - it’s up to each one of us to embrace, to learn from and to live the Gospel messages of love, trust and faithfulness as Christians who may also be faced today with some uncertainty as to how Jesus, the Son of God, continues to shape our faith, our beliefs and our practices.
By Marcia Shadle Cuisic