St Peter Chanel, Priest & martyr
4th Week of Easter : Wednesday 28th April 2021
Acts 12:24--13:5; Ps. 66:2-3,5,6,8;
Jn. 12:44-50 (Ps Wk IV)
No one owns or controls the Holy Spirit. In the reading from the Acts, we have an insight into life in the Christian community in the 1st century. The community as a whole took part in decision making by fervent prayer, and when guided by the Spirit, Paul and Barnabas were set aside for a special mission.
We often mistake human judgement or opinion for spiritual discernment, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It takes a bit of time, patience, and willingness to be led where we would rather not go. Spending some time with the Spirit can be an effective guide for individual people as well as communities. After all, God is supposed to be in charge!
Jesus came into the world to enlighten our minds and hearts and to dispel ignorance and fear. In a rather strange saying, he insisted that accepting or rejecting him is the same as accepting or rejecting God the Father. Again, this does not mean that non-Christians are excluded from God’s love and grace.
A better way of expressing it would be that we must accept what Jesus stands for — compassion, mercy, love, justice, humility, forgiveness, and a host of other divine qualities. We can then accept him in many different forms. How well do we accept what he embodies and how well do we practise these qualities? That is the question we should ask ourselves each day.
Lord, may my life always reflect true Christian virtues.