Monday of the Fifth Sunday of Easter
(Acts 14:5-18; John 14:21-26)
G. K. Chesterton is attributed to have said, “He who does not believe in God will believe in anything.” He means that the unbeliever may make a god out of a whimsical desire or out of cold cash. In today’s reading from Acts the Greeks take Paul and Barnabas to be gods. The two apostles of Jesus have just healed a cripple through the intercession of Jesus.
Paul and Barnabas want no part of the deification. They try, with only partial success, to explain that there is but one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe. They, in contrast, have a mortal nature although they are being saved from everlasting death through Jesus Christ. Their curing the invalid -- they would tell their hearers – is but a sign of Jesus’ saving grace.
On the one hand, we must take care not to unwittingly deify that which is mortal or even inert. We must never adulate an entertainer or barter our soul for pleasure. On the other hand, we want to find our salvation in Jesus. As he rose from the dead, he will raise us up. Because he is the God of the universe, we can count on him.