Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Peter and John replied to the leaders, elders, and scribes: “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” The boldness of Peter and James comes out most powerfully in their encounter. For them, their faith in Jesus Christ was not something confined to one day a week, nor was it something they discussed only when it was convenient, nor did it enter into a few of the areas of their life—rather, their belief in Jesus Christ was everything. It was intimately tied up with the identity of who they were. They had been completely and totally changed. Peter went from being a simple Galilean fisherman to the bold preacher and rock on which the Church was built. The religious leaders still saw Peter and John as “uneducated, ordinary men.” In one sense, this description is accurate, but a better description would be that they were “ordinary men who experienced an extraordinary calling.”
Mary Magdalene offers a similarly powerful example of conversion. Mary is described as the one “out of whom he had driven seven demons.” God used her to be the first to witness Jesus’s resurrection. For this reason, Mary Magdalene is known sometimes as the “apostle to the apostles.”
When God calls us, He also provides us with the graces that we need to respond to that calling. We tend to focus on our inadequacies and what we are lacking, but God sees the heart. Anyone who feels God’s pull in their life should take confidence in the example of the Apostles and the many countless men and women who did great things for God primarily because they were open and receptive to grace. Your role isn’t to know or even to control how God is going to work in your life, your role is with confidence to say “yes.”
Reflection Question: How does unbelief and hardness of heart prevent you from following God more boldly?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB