I’VE BEEN quiet for the last few weeks, quietly celebrating the joy of Easter and hoping that my readers have been doing the same. But time for some fresh thoughts.
The focus in the readings at Mass is on the early days of the Church in the Acts of the Apostles and in Our Lord’s teachings as recounted by John in his Gospel. I love both these books and could read and re-read them from now until the day that God calls me, I hope, to spend eternity with Him. Perhaps I shall!
There are some very human twists in Acts in amongst the miracles. I love the story in Monday’s reading when Peter was being told off for consorting with pagans — “so you have been visiting the uncircumsised and eating with them, have you?” (Sub-text: “how dare you, you naughty man!”). And Peter spins this long yarn about animals being lowered in a sheet and being told in his vision not to dare to call unclean what God has declared clean.
Did Peter actually have this vision or is he just using the age-old (even then!) trick of allegory to make a point. He wouldn’t have been the first missionary to do that and for sure he wasn’t the last! Anyway, who cares? Is it important whether this happened in reality or was just the way Peter chose to make his point? Not in my book.
What he then told them was indeed a miracle because we can detect the hand of God in the conversion of this unknown pagan and Peter’s understanding or revelation or vision — however he experienced it — that the grace that God had bestowed on this man and his household was exactly the same as the grace that had descended on the apostles at Pentecost and we can only speculate, but can imagine, the extra confidence that this sudden revelation gave to Peter’s life and his teaching.
And those who had sniffily objected to what Peter had done? What could they say except, “oh well, that’s all right then!”
Do make time this Eastertide to read Acts. You’ll like it.