We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles
to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
In the first reading from Acts, these are the lines that struck me most. It amazes me how filled with the Holy Spirit, these men were fearless in proclaiming the good news of Jesus – how they seemed not at all scared of what could happen to them as a result. To go even farther, they “rejoiced that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name (Jesus).” I think that sometimes we forget as confirmed Catholics that we too have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Do we trust in the Spirit to give us the word and courage to defend Jesus – to defend our faith? Do we count it a joy to stand out/be different/be considered “weird” for the sake of the One who loved us so much that He suffered death on the cross?
The reading from Revelation is such a beautiful passage.
I heard every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out:
“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever.”
It really struck me when the scriptures said “everything in the universe” cried out. Wouldn’t that truly be a dream come true – the day that everything in the universe recognizes the holiness of God and responds accordingly? It reminds me of a praise/worship song whose lyrics are borrowed from these verses. I’m attaching it here for your enjoyment.
Finally, two things about the gospel stood out for me – it wasn’t until the rising of the sun (and the rising of the Son) that the disciple fishermen were successful in gathering a large catch. Alone, we stumble about – and our efforts are often fruitless – BUT with God and through God, all things are possible. How many times do we flail about trying to do things on our own, before we turn to Him in prayer? I also love the way that Jesus very lovingly prepared breakfast for the disciples on the beach – a barbecue chef – imagine that! He ministered to both their spiritual and physical needs. He does the same for us today when we turn to Him in prayer and when we approach the Eucharistic table. The fact that Jesus ate with them in His resurrected body gives me great hope that I will be able to enjoy chocolate, coconut and apple pie in heaven! Gosh, I hope it’s true!