Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33)
Memorial Day is sometimes called Decoration Day. This is so because on this day Americans have traditionally put flowers on the graves of their deceased loved ones. The custom started after the Civil War which claimed the lives of more Americans than any other. In time people decorated the graves of all loved ones, not just fallen soldiers.
Flowers symbolize new life. They are fitting for Christian graves because Christians believe that the dead will live again. The Holy Spirit will reintegrate their bodies and unite them with their souls. Then they will praise God in joy for eternity. We have a foreshadowing of this day in today’s first reading.
Paul meets twelve Ephesians who identify with the Jesus. Perhaps because they do not exhibit much joy, Paul asks the twelve if they have received the Holy Spirit. When they admit ignorance of the Spirit, Paul baptizes them in Jesus’ name. The effect is wonderful. The Spirit moves the Ephesians to pray in tongues and to tell the wonders of God.