Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday of the Third Week of Easter

(Acts 9:1-20; John 6:52-59)

Every once in a while a report about intelligent design breaks into the news. Intelligent design is the theory of evolution claiming that the Creator has left some tracks in guiding the development of the species. Most scientists, seeing no evidence of God’s hand in the process, hold that random chance controlled evolutionary development.

Whether or not God reveals His hand in nature, does He do so in history? Secular historians will argue no. They likely see history meandering as aimlessly as elementary school students on the first day of vacation. On the other hand St. Luke, the New Testament’s most self-conscious historian, sees God’s design everywhere. He writes of Stephen’s martyrdom as the divine initiative to take the gospel outside Jerusalem. In today’s reading from Acts Luke narrates how Christ personally intervenes in Paul’s life directing him to the pagans.

Why, we may ask, does God have such an ambitious plan for Paul? The answer is contained in the basic gospel message. God loves each one of us – Jew and non-Jew alike -- more than we can ever appreciate. Out of this love He conscripts the sharp, strong, and zealous Paul to introduce us to His son.