Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 17:15.22-18.1; John 16:12-15)
A former seminarian no longer goes to church. His wife gives his reason as no longer believing in the resurrection. The man may be seeking an excuse to sleep late on Sunday, but he knows the critical issue of faith. This is evidenced by reading Paul’s exhortations in the Acts of the Apostles. In his sermon to Jews in Pisidia Paul preaches that Jesus’ resurrection fulfills the Scriptures (Acts 13:30-32). In today’s reading he tells the Greeks that God raised Jesus from the dead as testimony of his coming to judge the world. In both cases Paul did not accomplish very much. In his First Letter to the Corinthians he indicates that he had to change his message. He writes, “For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified…” (I Cor 1:22-23a).
Paul never got very far in preaching to Jews, but Greeks came to embrace his message. They did so because the world longs to hear of one who would sacrifice his life out of love for another. Despite evidence of narcissism most people suspect that they are not really worth much. They look for testimony that someone loves them. This is the message of the cross. As Paul writes elsewhere, “…God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
We need not worry how the resurrection can take place. Everyday science reveals occurrences which never before were imagined, much less explained. But we must act on our belief in the resurrection. We should make some sacrifice of what we treasure for the good of others.