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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reading Acts of the Apostles for the Easter Season

Send me, Lord!
If I had to choose a favorite book in the Bible I think it would be Acts of the Apostles. What an adventure it relates about the early days of the Church.

When someone asks me about the Bible or comments on its difficulty, I always suggest they read Acts first. It's easy to understand and shows the zeal and commitment of the apostles after they receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What an adventure story with Paul being shipwrecked and marooned, jailed and beaten. (Robinson Crusoe and the Count of Monte Cristo have nothing on Paul.) What models those early evangelizers offer us!

Do we have a zeal for Gospel? Or are we still cowering in the upper room? And if we don't have zeal for evangelizing the faith, why don't we? Is it because we haven't asked for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

God wants us to spread the Gospel. He sent us forth with the apostles on Ascension Thursday. "Go forth and teach all nations." Of course the descendants of the Apostles, the clergy, have the primary duty to teach and baptize, but so do we. The first witnesses to the Resurrection were women. They were the very first to carry out the meaning of the word apostle (one who is sent) after Jesus rose from the dead.

How can I be an apostle today? To whom am I being sent? Is there someone who needs to hear from me personally or through a letter or phone call? How does the Lord want me to "go forth and teach?" I'll ask that question this morning at Mass and during my hour of adoration. With the prophet Isaiah (6:8) I'll try to answer the question, "Whom shall I send?"  by responding, "Send me!"

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.


Gigi said...

I agree - I look forward to Acts every year! In a few weeks i will be teaching a bible study for Catholic seniors at the local retirement home about the formation of the early Church and 1st and 2nd century Church Fathers. I think the road to Emmaus is my favorite post-resurrection reading - gets me a little choked up every time!

Mark Murphy said...

Send me!