Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Acts 14:5-18; John 14:21-26)
The first reading sounds more like a situation comedy than an episode of true history. Sometimes, however, reality is stranger than fiction. In any case, people have an odd penchant of adulating men and women as if they were gods and goddesses. Today athletes and entertainers have godlike status in the eyes of the public. A Tom Brady or a Nicole Kidman command immense salaries and attention to the banalities of their lives.
In the biblical passage Paul and Barnabas are worshipped as gods after facilitating an instant healing. The two apostles take advantage of the opportunity to explain God’s love for them. They tell the pagan townspeople that such a mighty deed is but an extension of the care God shows in creation. Still like many today the people in the reading refuse to abandon their fantasies. They continue to prepare sacrifices for the apostles.
Unfortunately the attention paid to athletes and entertainers often detracts from worship of the true God. We know of people who do not go to church on Sunday in order to watch a football game. Many as well accept the caprices of entertainers as norms for everyone. The situation leaves us with a double responsibility. We must be careful not to fall into these vices. And we must instruct our youth that the living God demands righteous living.