by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
In our first lesson today, we have an incident that shows how the first disciples of Jesus were beginning to carry out the work of Jesus. If you think about it, you can really imagine how distressed those officials in that courtroom must have been, how upset. They thought they had killed Jesus. What’s this? Now people are going out now and in his name — that is, with his power — acting as he did. They’re continuing to do the same thing he did.
They thought they had ended everything when they so terribly tortured Jesus and then put him to death, executed him. His work was over, they thought. But now, suddenly, here are these two followers of his going out into the streets, finding a cripple, and in the name of Jesus, the power of Jesus, they cure him. Yet we should not be surprised because if you remember Easter Sunday night, the day Jesus arose from the dead, he came to his disciples.
They were hiding in the upper room, afraid. Afraid that what happened to him might happen to them, ashamed with even how they had abandoned him. Then, suddenly, he was in their midst. “Peace be with you.” Do you remember how he said that? Of course, calmness and peace spread throughout that room. But then, even more important, he breathed on them. He said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. As God has sent me, I send you.” You see, it wasn’t all over on Good Friday….