The Seventh Sunday of Easter [B]

The Seventh Sunday of Easter [B]
Acts 1:15-17,20,20-26  +  1 John 4:11-16  +  John 17:11b-19

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.”

Your life as a Christian resembles the life of each of the apostles, whom we’ve been hearing a lot about during the past six weeks of the Easter season.  Like the apostles, we know that we are blessed as Christians to share in the life of Jesus.  We know that we are blessed to have been redeemed by Christ, and to have the chance to enter Heaven by means of our faith in Jesus dying on the Cross.

Like the apostles on the day of the Ascension, though, we find ourselves in life not always sure what to do next.  Whether in regard to a relationship with another person, a job situation, schooling, or our prayer—how much we pray and its depth—or our moral life, we’re often left wondering.  These conundrums in life force us to turn to God for help, and—what’s even more difficult at times—they force us sometimes to wait for God’s answer.

“Waiting”.  That’s the word that describes us during these days that stretch between the feast of the Ascension, and the feast of Pentecost, which the Church will celebrate next Sunday.  Following Jesus’ ascension to Heaven, the apostles weren’t exactly sure what to do, even though they’d been told by Jesus to go out and preach the Gospel to all the nations.  Maybe the apostles wanted more of a blueprint than Jesus had provided for them.  Like most of us, they probably wanted an exact road map telling them:  “James, you go to this town and preach to these people.  Peter, you go to this country and preach to them.”

Your life as a Christian resembles the life of each of the apostles as they wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.  They waited.  And they waited.  For ten days they were gathered in the Upper Room where Jesus had instituted the Holy Eucharist.  Finally, on the tenth day, God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit down from Heaven to fill the apostles’ hearts, minds, and souls.  The Holy Spirit didn’t provide them with an exact blueprint for building the Church.  But His gifts did help them speak when it was necessary, listen when it was necessary, and pray when it was necessary.

These three things—acting, listening, and praying—must be equally balanced in our lives, and all of them must be done for God.