Homilette for Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

(Acts 11:19-26; John 10:22-30)

Leonard Bernstein’s Mass makes a marvelous tribute to the word of the Lord. In a piece with that title Bernstein states that powers may lock up preachers but they cannot contain the message they preach. In Acts Luke also shows the word of God moving with similar dynamism.

Today’s first reading shows Hellenist Christians forming Christian communities elsewhere after being persecuted in Jerusalem. These communities do not consist solely of Jews who accept Jesus but also of gentiles who acknowledge Jesus as their savior as well. The new community makeup and the new practices it entails call for a new name for church members. They are now Christians.

If the word of God seems stymied today because of agnosticism in many Western countries, it has hardly lost its dynamism in Africa and Asia. Christians are continually being made. The Church still grows. For the old Christian world, we might say with Jesus, “Blessed is the one who takes no offense in (him).”