Readings for Friday April 9, 2010
First Reading: Acts 4:1-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118
Gospel: John 21:1-14
On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. They brought them into their presence and questioned them, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:5-12)
Isn't it amazing how quickly things can change? Today we read in the book of Acts how Peter and John are arrested and brought before the religious leaders. Now we must remember that these are the same disciples who ran when Jesus was being arrested. Peter is the disciple who denied Christ three times to strangers in the crowd. Now, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Peter stands up to the religious leaders and speaks strongly for the Lord. There is no more doubt, no more fear; only love and courage.
While most of us will never be arrested and brought to trial for our faith, this does not mean that we are not meant to be bold. Every day we have chances to be bold for Christ, perhaps through word. How many times have we been confronted about our faith, or how many times do we see someone doing something wrong and just look the other way instead of saying something? How many times do we have to opportunity to help someone out or to support someone? How many times do we skip opportunities to pray for someone just because it would require some of our precious time? The truth is that each of us has a chance to make a bold move that can impact someone else everyday. Many of us miss these opportunities because we are busy with our own lives. But we were given a new commandment by Christ, and that is to "love one another as [He] has loved us." (Jn 13:34) Bold moves can happen every day, but only if we are willing to step outside of ourselves and love others as Christ does.
Brothers and Sisters, I pray that each of us can have our eyes opened and that each of our hearts can be on fire for Jesus, so that we can go out and live the life that we are meant to. May we each be open to the power of the Holy Spirit which wants to work in each of our lives.
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and make the fire of your love burn within them. Send forth your spirit and there shall be another creation. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, you have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant that through the same Holy Spirit we may always be truly wise and rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.