Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
(Acts 5:17-26; John 3:16-21)
There can be no doubt to whose life the angel refers to in the first reading when he tells the apostles, “’Go and take you place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.’” At the beginning of the Book of Acts as he is about to ascend into heaven, Jesus instructs them “to be my witnesses” in Jerusalem and throughout the world. The angel is just reiterating that command.
Acts gives various examples of the apostolic witness. But the most famous summary of “this life” is seen in today’s gospel. Jells tells Nicodemus, “’God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.’” Jesus is of God – His “Son.” He comes to testify to God’s love for “the world” – all humanity. This love is most powerfully witnessed when he willingly dies on the cross – among the cruelest of sufferings ever endured.
The witness of love has been shown to us today through the apostles, their successors, and many other true witnesses of Christ. It compels us to love others by sacrificing some of our time, talent, and treasure. We are more than willing to do this but not really for altruism’s sake. No, we love even when it hurts, as Jesus says, so that we “’might have eternal life.’”