Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 7:15.22-18.1; John 16:12-15)
It is said that St. Paul made a strategic move in leaving Athens for Corinth. In the first century Athens was an old city more like a museum than an incubator of dreams. Corinth, on the other hand, was a crossroads where new ideas circulated with the world’s merchandise. Today’s first reading relates Paul’s humbling experience in preaching to Athenians.
Paul tries to be practical not hypothetical as he addresses his audience at the Areopagus. He refers to the Unknown God whose altar stands in their midst. Then he relates this god to the Creator of the Jewish Scriptures. Some of his audience may give Paul their attention. But when he mentions that his God raised Jesus from the dead, the people dismiss him as a lunatic. In the less sophisticated, more enterprising Corinth the people will respond enthusiastically to the prospect of the resurrection.
We do as well. We botch up things so much that we long to make amends to people who are no longer among us. Reconciling with them in the resurrection of the dead is not just wishful thinking. We have testimony of Jesus’ resurrection and his promise to come back for those who love him. We yearn to go with him to the dwelling place of our beloved.