Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-24-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Throughout the Easter season we hear readings from the Acts of the Apostles. Written as a kind of sequel to Luke’s Gospel, the Acts answer many of the questions posed by the Gospel. Today we learn what the disciples did after Jesus comes back. Filled with the Holy Spirit, given to them in the Gospel we read today, they perform many signs and wonders. They begin to develop a level of celebrity, though people still fear to join them openly.
Imagine you are a resident of first century Jerusalem. You had likely heard of the teacher from Nazareth, Jesus, who attracted quite a following but whose life ended in spectacular cruelty on Calvary. Now, his followers are preaching His Resurrection, performing signs and miracles of healing. Whatever you made of His message, Jesus’ crucifixion certainly gives you pause to join the ranks of His followers, you have no desire to be a target for the religious or civil authorities. But His disciples are preaching fearlessly. Perhaps, despite your reservations, you bring a loved one to His disciples and they are miraculously healed in His Name.  How would you react to a miracle on earth? Would you be ready to acknowledge that the Lord is operating in ways you have not been taught or have not considered before?
The power of the Holy Spirit enabled Jesus’ first disciples, people with no great qualifications, whose cowardly behavior at the time of Jesus’ Passion and Death did them no credit, to be the agents of remarkable change.  That same power is alive and active in our world today. We may be equally unlikely and unworthy vessels but the Holy Spirit may also call us to effect change through our witness to the truth of the Gospel. In a similar vein, we may encounter God in places or manners or persons we do not expect. God may surprise us both in how we are called to preach the Good News, and who is preaching the Good News to us.
I wish you and your loved ones Easter blessings of good health and great joy. As war continues to rage in our world, please pray for peace and healing,

Fr. Paul

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