Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Christ Prevails

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

By Colleen O’Sullivan
The high priest rose up and all his companions, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and, filled with jealousy, laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.  But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.”  When they heard this, they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.  (Acts 5:17-21a)
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life…  And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.  But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. (John 3:16, 19-21)
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth; break into song; sing praise.   (Psalm 98:4)

Much has been done throughout time to squelch the Word and to keep the world in darkness, generally by people who find the darkness profitable to themselves.  The ultimate attempt, of course, came on Good Friday with the Crucifixion of Jesus.  That was quickly followed by persecution, imprisonment, and martyrdom of his followers.  Even today, Christians in other places around the globe are still giving their lives for their faith.

But we have celebrated Easter.  We know Christ is risen, and we live in the light of his Resurrection.  We believe nothing in all creation can ever silence the Word or extinguish the Light.  In today’s first reading, the high priest and his cronies, worried that their hold over the people might be slipping, have the wonder-working Apostles thrown into jail.  There.  That will solve that little problem.  But they quickly discover that the Word of God cannot be held captive.  No matter how dark the cell, how thick the prison bars, how heavy the chains, how fierce the persecution, the Easter message is that Christ prevails.

When you are praying today, let Jesus into the dark places in your life, the places you like to keep hidden.  The Lord loves you.  He won’t condemn you.  He wants only to bring you forgiveness, peace, healing and light.  Easter is about the promise of redemption.  

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