Greetings on this the Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 19:1-8; PS 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab; Jn 16:29-33
It is evident that the early Church had an evolving Sacramental System.
Sometimes systems and terminology are one or both of these:
- The formal expression of an informal system already in place but now specifically expressed.
- A break through event or thought that redefines or promotes growth onto new ways of expression.
From this reading alone there were two baptisms although only the second remained as permanent:
- baptism of John (a/k/a baptism of repentance)
- baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
Also from this reading there was the laying on of hands for conferral of the Holy Spirit:
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
We know the sacred meal tradition permeates from the beginning as well.
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
We celebrate this basic fact that the Lord provides. Even in our troubles, and we do have troubles, the Lord is present.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Being raised with Christ is a reference to the Baptism of the Lord and our own baptism.
The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
The plain talk was trouble will come and even scatter us.
But fear not, the Father is with Jesus.
Be at peace.
As the image accompanying this reflection shows, the tunnel is dark and forbidding.
But the light of freedom is on the other side.
Jesus has conquered the world.
Peace be with you,