APRIL 15, 2015 - Wednesday of 2nd Week of Easter

Acts 5:17-26 ; John 3:16-21

As we hear the first of the two readings for today's Gospels, we confront the astonishing fact of St. Peter's transformation.   The Peter who had shown such human respect at the questioning of a young woman of no standing, now, after receiving the Holy Spirit, faces down the high priest and the whole Sanhedrin.   He not only shows no timid fear, he charges them with murdering the Savior of our race.   No doubt the apostle realized that in speaking as he did he risked his life, yet he does not hesitate to give witness.   We are told that the authorities wanted to put him to death, and this reading ends with that fact.   The lesson for us is clear: put our trust in God and be firm in standing by his Son whatever the cost.   The recent stands taken in our country on homosexuality and some statements from prominent Cardinals make it clear that faith in the true Church is under serious attack in recent times.

The Gospel today provides the Divine basis for such bold confidence as Peter displays for his courage.   He is thoroughly persuaded of the words Saint John passes on to us.   He explains that "whoever believes in the Son has eternal life."   He does not say such a believer will come to enter eternal life, though he implies that is certainly the case.   But he desires to get across the encouraging fact that even now, by putting our faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior we already have a share in God's life and love.

These two readings support one another in their bold affirmation that the life of God is not some distant reality we can hope to attain to in the future.   We already in some hidden manner already have a portion with the living God, even now.   This is the very message of this Eucharist we now share and offer together.

Abbot John Eudes Bamberger