(Reposting from last year. Still works. Just a few edits.)
Today, in Mercy, we enter the Easter Season which will last until June 8th. The next day we will celebrate Pentecost.
Throughout these several weeks, we will have a thorough reading of the Acts of the Apostles.
Theologian Walter Brueggemann says this about Acts:
In the Book of Acts the church is a restless, transformative agent
at work for emancipation and well-being in the world.
As Easter People, transformed by the Resurrection of Jesus, that’s what we’re all called to be. Our models and inspiration will be found in these early women and men we read about over the next few weeks. This was a community that acted – within a culture of death – for an alternative, life-giving world.
“The whole book of Acts is about power from God that the world cannot shut down. In scene after scene, there is a hard meeting between the church and worldly authorities, because worldly authorities are regularly baffled by this new power and resentful of it.”
At one point, in chapter 17, the followers of Jesus are accused of “turning the world upside down.” (Brueggemann)
Our world sorely needs such an active Church, speaking clearly to the issues that threaten and limit human life and wholeness in God. It’s not easy to be that witness, but it is critical. Our Gospel suggests the difficulty, but also defines the motivation:
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the good news …
May we, though sometimes fearful, choose to be agents of the joyful Good News for our times. May we be brave in witnessing Christ, even in trying times!
Music: Alleluia from Mozart’s Exultate et Jubilate- sung by Barbara Bonney