Written on: April 26, 2023
1st Reading: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b4, 5, 6
2nd Reading: 1 Peter 2:20b-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10
Written by Sister Eileen Spanier, GNSH
When I first looked through the readings for today I wasn’t too concerned about having something to write about. Naturally, I figured my reflections would focus on sheep and that my biggest problem was going to find something new and original to write about. WRONG!
After taking time to connect with my only friend who raises a few sheep, picking his brain for new insights and then recalling my one and only personal experience trying to help gather up some sheep that had escaped through a hole in a neighbor’s fence, I decided to pray for more enlightenment and go back to the beginning to reread the Scriptures for the day.
Lo and behold, I found my little “golden nugget” in the very first paragraph of the First Reading from the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed:
‘Let the whole House of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified’.”
Peter, the one who couldn’t stay awake with Jesus in His Hour of Agony?
Peter, the one who slipped into the shadows of the courtyard and silently watched His Master be humiliated and scourged?
Peter, who told the servant girl that he didn’t even know Jesus and was certainly NOT one of his followers?
Now we are being told that this same Peter “stood up”
this same Peter “raised his voice” and
this same Peter “proclaimed”
Is this the same person?? What changed? What happened to give this same Peter the courage to stand up…raise his voice and…PROCLAIM?
The simple answer: the Holy Spirit happened. Pentecost happened. The Apostles had been CONFIRMED in the Faith! And now Peter had the courage to become that “Rock” that Jesus told him He would build His Church upon.
What about me?
How many times have I drifted off during prayer…either in sleep or wandering thoughts? How many times have I hung back, remained silent when I saw something or someone being falsely portrayed in conversation? How many times have my actions suggested that I did not KNOW Jesus? I have quite a few similarities with Peter, the Peter before Pentecost.
But I also know that I, too, have been Confirmed in my Faith. The Spirit is within me and wants so desperately to be released, to be LIVED! Like Peter, I have all that is necessary to stand up, raise my voice and proclaim….in Jesus’ Name.
And so do you. What will you do this day to publicly witness to Jesus? How will your actions let others know that you ARE one of His followers?
“If any of you were expecting a reflection on sheep and are disappointed, please watch this video link where my friend Deacon Matt will give you an informative lesson on sheep!”
Download a printable copy Fourth Sunday of Easter- 2023
Easter Letter- Sr. Denise Roche, GNSH President
Featured image courtesy of Jason Rosewell/Unsplash