Have you ever found yourself in a situation either good or bad and said to yourself, ‘I just don’t believe this happened’… ‘How could this situation turn out in this way?’ ‘This is impossible’?
Well, in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5: 17-26), this is exactly what happened to the high priest and the authorities. The high priest supported by the supporters from the party of the Sadducees were jealous and annoyed, that the apostles Peter and John continued to teach the people about the resurrection of Jesus; in spite of being forbidden to teach. The high priests and supporters did not like what they saw or heard. They imprisoned Peter and John in gaol. Something unbelievable happened. The ‘angel of the Lord’ opened the prison gates and released them with this instruction, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ The apostles obeyed and went to the Temple to preach.
Meanwhile, the high priest asked for Peter and Johns’ release from prison. When the officials went to release them, the prison was empty. They went out and reported to the high priest. The captain of the temple was perplexed. A man arrived with an update on the situation. He said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men to fetch Peter and John. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
Why would the assembly of people not shout aloud the lines of the psalm in the presence of God, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’, ‘I sought the Lord and he answered me’, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ ‘He is happy who takes refuge in him’? Christians believe that with God everything is possible.
The Gospel (Jn 3:16-21) continues with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. The listener hears that God gave his Son Jesus, ‘so that believers in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.’ That meant that believers would be with God forever in heaven. God also sent Jesus so that through Jesus ‘the world might be saved.’ God sent Jesus because Jesus is the light. However, people preferred darkness to light and did not live by the truth. Jesus invites all people to live by the truth ‘so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
When Christians say they have faith in God, they believe even though they cannot see. It is just like the experience that Thomas had in his encounter with Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
VERITAS provides online resources on the Grow in Love website to support the season of Easter on the Grow in Love website including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book.
- Pray Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh
- Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal
- From your Bible read the ‘The apostles arrested again’ (Acts 5:12-20)
- Did you ever read a book or watch a film that you actually could not believe something that happened? Share it with your family.
Sr Anne Neylon