“The community of believers was of one heart and mind,” and their example – powered by their faith in the Risen Lord – inspires us to draw together as we face the challenges and obstacles in our lives today.
The readings this week are filled with power and zeal. The resurrection of Jesus inspires the early Church, and their encounter with the Risen Lord in the breaking of the bread testifies to the enduring grace we receive every time we come to Mass. Take a look:
1st Reading – Peter boldly proclaims the Good News to the crowd
Psalm – “Lord, you will show us the path of life.”
2nd Reading – the resurrection renews us to live by God’s grace
Gospel – Jesus explains the Scriptures and is made known in the breaking of the bread
A pattern emerges: an encounter with the Risen Lord changes our lives in dynamic and life-giving ways. Peter is no longer timid or afraid to stand up for Christ; Christians conduct themselves with faith and hope; the disciples have their minds opened and hearts burning as Jesus is present to them in the breaking of the bread.
It is the depth of this change that bears close inspection. These people are renewed and empowered with a strength and conviction that can inspire us today. They burn with the flame of faith, and through the example and witness of their lives the Gospel message will spread like wildfire.
This is our task today. As we look to the early Church, we acknowledge that NOTHING was easy for them. Their trust in God put them in the path of tremendous obstacles, trials and persecutions. And yet with God’s grace their triumphed…and we can, too.
I’d like to suggest a simple two-step process:
Where do we encounter the Lord in our lives today?
How can we invite others to experience what gives us life?
The first question requires us to pause and reflect on the prayers, sacraments, fellowship and other life-giving activities that renew our hearts. The second question challenges us to step out in faith and invite those we know and love to encounter the Risen Lord. May the faith of the early Church inspire us to proclaim the Good News with passion and joy!
The Acts of the Apostles reveals a powerful example of communal life that challenges us to examine our relationships at every level and interaction. Community is crucial…but not always easy! May we call upon God’s Mercy for the help to make our communities flourish.
The boldness of St. Peter is not for a moment. Rather, he displays a steadfast conviction to live his life for the Lord Jesus…not quitting, not giving up…for the resurrection of Christ has changed his life forever.