Monday of the Second Week of Easter
(Acts 4:23-31; John 3:1-8)
In Leonard Bernstein’s epic musical Mass, the epistle is sung as a tribute to the “Word of the Lord.” Addressed to “men of power,” the song exalts what the Acts of the Apostles teaches about the indomitableness of God’s message. Over the long run, the song says, God’s message of love will conquer the pride, ambition, and contempt of the powerful.
In today’s passage from Acts, Peter and John have just returned from being told by the Jewish Sanhedrin never to speak the name of Jesus again. The apostles, having openly defied the order, now pray with the Christian community for strength. Their stance is confirmed as the room shakes with the approval of the people moved by the Holy Spirit.
Although apparently harmless, the Word of God can threaten the selfish interests of the privileged because it speaks with truth to the heart. We must study it, understand it, and preach it as God’s humble servants called to do His will in a too often careless world.