2nd Week of Easter, Wednesday, April 14
Acts 5:17-26 / John 3:16-21
Jesus continues his instruction; "Whoever believes will not see death. "
But then comes the sadness of the Last Supper farewells, the sadness
of Jesus' sufferings, and the sadness of Jesus' crucifixion. But the joy
returns again in the resurrection. It's subtly portrayed by the disciples'
carrying the victorious Christ on their shoulders right down the centre aisle
of the theatre.
Do we truly believe that every Good Friday is followed by an Easter Sunday? "Love cannot die, nor truth betray; Christ rose upon an April day." John R. Moreland, "Resurgam"
A second time the Apostles were put into jail, this time the common jail. The Angel of the Lord released them. We do not have to believe that the angel of the Lord was sent from heaven. It may have been one of their friends. "Angel of the Lord" in the Greek language can be the same as we use the word angel occasionally. We say to someone, "They are instruments of God's Providence, just as the angels are, who come at the appropriate moment when we are in a difficulty". Peter would have mentioned it before the Sanhedrin in his speech if freeing him had the direct intervention of God. Peter would have enjoyed adding to t discomfort. The courage of Peter is really refreshing in the background of his previous life. At dawn he went to the temple to preach. The people too admire their courage. They gathered in great numbers so that when the inevitable happened, when the captain with his men came, "they
were afraid to use force, the people would have stoned them" (verse 26).
God sent his only Son into the world to save us. Salvation. Do we need salvation? We have become so self-sufficient and proud of our human achievements that we often think that salvation belongs to another world – not ours. But when in our sober moments, we sit down and reflect, we have to face deeper realities: which achievements? For what? Have they made us happier? Have we made the world a better place to live in? And then, we realize that we cannot do it alone. We need salvation – from ourselves, from our achievements, from our so-called progress. And then, we become grateful for Jesus, not merely a person-for-others, but God’s Son, who is with us and who can still get us out of the mess we are often making.
In the midst
of the increasing spread of the pandemic, there is one thing that might be
decreasing. What might be decreasing is our faith in God, as we wonder what God
is doing as the whole world cringes in worry and anxiety over the spread of the
virus, and the difficulties that are arising. It is not just the individual's
faith, but the faith of the Church and even the faith of world and those who
believe in God. As much as the pandemic is a stark reality and no one is immune
to it, it would be a very dark world if we are going to be obsessed by it. It
is in these dark times that we need to believe in something good and something
We turn to the gospel and we read that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life. As we prepare to be confined to our homes until the 1st June (as it was announced yesterday), let us keep believing that God loves the world, that He loves each of us, and that this is the time to hold on to our faith in God's love for us. Let us not keep looking at the dark side of things but know that the light of God's love is shining on us and even brighter than before, only if we want to look at the light. Yes, God's light is shining brightly to tell us that He loves us. Let us believe and hold on to our faith in God.
Lord, our God, you loved the world – that is us – so much that you gave us your only Son to save us from ourselves and to give us eternal life. Do not condemn us Lord, do not leave us to ourselves and to our little schemes, but give us your Son now to stay with us and to make love, justice and peace ever new realities among us, your people reborn in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen