Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 12:24-13.5a; John 12:44-50)
One of the sad realities in the Church today is the high percentage of youth who stop coming to Mass after they receive the sacrament of Confirmation. It is as if the laying on of hands had the effect of weakening their faith, not strengthening it for mission. Today’s first reading indicates what the practice should produce.
The church of Antioch discerns the Holy Spirit’s will that Saul and Barnabas become its agents in bringing the good news to the world. Interestingly, it does not merely give assent and presume that everything will be all right but prays and makes sacrifices on their behalf. Then the people lay their hands on the two sending them off to preach the gospel. Their preaching will bring new life to many in Jesus’ name.
Somehow we must instill in our youth the promise of this abundant life in Jesus. Perhaps it will come about if we, like the church at Antioch, pray and sacrifice our time on their behalf. The more we live our faith, the more those who come after us will find it worthwhile.