Elijah’s summoning of Elijah comes in the midst of everyday activities: Elisha is plowing. Where do you hear God’s call in your daily work?
The Inner Word
The church celebrates the Eucharist in a special way today. Second only to Holy Thursday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ offers an opportunity to focus on the meaning of the eucharistic sacrament.
Paul “boasts” of his afflictions, not to be proud of them but to remind his readers that the Christian life can sometimes require suffering and sacrifice for a greater good.
Paul was addressing a community experiencing conflicts and differing loyalties. Every community of faith—including yours—has such divisions.
Stephen’s vision of Christ sitting at the right hand of God empowers him. How does your “vision” of who Jesus is inspire you? What is your “bright morning star”?
In a way, this weekend’s readings speak of the ideal and the real. Conflict hits the community in Acts, and responsible persons step forward to try to resolve it. Revelation describes a place of faith, the new Jerusalem. And Jesus says he must go, and warns of trouble, but also promises help and ultimate peace.
Acts talks about the appointing of “elders.” You are a leader of your community. How does your ministry gather the people and make disciples? How do you strengthen them?
As a preacher, you, like Paul and the other apostles, can bring people to faith. Think about how you relate to the great themes of today’s readings—hearing, accepting, and following the word of God; being in God’s hands; sometimes suffering to be a Christian—and how you can help your hearers enter more deeply into these realities.
The disciples find themselves at a crossroad: They must strengthen their witness and attend to the business of gathering more souls for the Kingdom, but they must do it against the strict commands of local authority. They choose their faith over the law and following Jesus over falling back into their old routines.
The apostles entered very exciting and chaotic times after the death of Jesus. The risen Jesus breathed new life into their mission, and they found in themselves astonishing strength and power and a sprinkle of doubt.