Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 16:11-15; John 15:26-16:4a)
Neil Armstrong’s statement upon landing on the moon may be adapted to today’s first reading. Crossing from Troas to Neapolis, St. Paul hops from Asia to Europe. It is a short trip for Paul and his companions, but a milestone for the European continent.
Europe, of course, had inhabitants with their pagan religions eons before the arrival of Christianity. But certainly no other cult has shaped the continent like the following of Christ. Its monuments, its art, and its philosophy are all rooted in Christianity. For this reason St. John Paul II pleaded with the founders of the European Union to acknowledge the Christin heritage of its culture.
Europe is losing its Christian cultural identity. Many no longer believe in a spiritual core to the human person. They give even less credence to the gospel summons to eternal glory. We must take care not to follow that road. Jesus shows us a path to peace on earth. More importantly, he paves the way to the fullness of life in heaven.