Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
As we approach the two liturgical readings for today it feels like two seasons of the year, namely spring and winter. Spring speaks of new life and color with great hopes for the future, while winter sends a very different message of shutting down and the final conclusions for the long haul.
The first reading is all about springtime in the early Church as the apostles and probably many others began to fan out, speaking to the Jewish cities and neighborhoods. Everything seemed to burst into bloom and the Church was growing and we even hear of contact being made with Paul of Tarsus who was coming to Antioch.
The second reading from the Gospel of John even tells us up front that it was winter. We can pick up the chilly atmosphere as we can imagine a certain group of very hostile Jews meeting Jesus on the street. Convinced that he was an imposter, they must have clutched their cloaks more tightly against the wind as they hoped to lay a trap and demand that Jesus state absolutely that he was the Messiah.
Jesus responded that He had already given them their answer. We might suggest that the hostile Jews were too wrapped up in insulating themselves against the new wind of the Spirit of God. Jesus spoke a different kind of language. He communicated his identity by doing the works His Heavenly Father had predicted so long ago. The moment must have gotten even colder as Jesus went on to say that they could not see his authority coming from his Father because they simply could not believe what was right in front of their eyes.
Reflection: Do we sometimes insist that God speak to us in our way because we don’t want to learn God’s way?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB