Happy Easter season! Yes! Season! Our culture celebrated Easter and is now on to the next thing. We continue to celebrate and focus on the Resurrection of our Lord for 50 days until the Solemnity of Pentecost which is May 20th. Then we return back to Ordinary Time in Week seven. In the meantime, we will hear a healthy dose of the events that followed the Resurrection via the Acts of the Apostles, both in the weekly readings and Sunday readings at Mass. I recommend reading to that entire book at home so as to get a sense of continuity and the amazing faith of the Apostles and new Christians. Remember that this is our heritage. We have with us the successors of the Apostles today in our bishops and we celebrate the same Sacramental life that they did. You will also see who they held each other closely in their hearts. You will read how powerfully the Holy Spirit moved in their midst. But, you will also read that they still had many trials issues and were persecuted. And while they had their own personal struggles with each other, they focused their energies at spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. While you read the book, here’s some questions to ponder:
- What role did the Apostles play in the first Christian communities?
- How did the Apostles get along with each other?
- What power/authority did the Apostles demonstrate?
- What are some of the issues the Apostles had to face?
- What events paralleled things from Jesus’ life?
- How did the Christian community help each other?
- What fears/hardships were present in the Christian community?
- How did they receive new-comers/strangers?
- What healings/miracles occurred?
- What healings do you see today?
- What cities were visited?
- Who were converted?
- Who did you relate to the most?
- What does your reading call you to do?
- How has your reading changed your view of the first Christian communities?
May this Easter season help raise your hearts and minds to the things beyond this world. Despite the challenges of our own time and in our personal lives, I pray that this Easter time remind us all of the great things that went on in the early Church and still do today.
Fr. William Holtzinger