Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
In the first Reading, Peter and the Apostles are “obeying God rather than men,” teaching and talking about Jesus. They witnessed everything that Jesus did, along with the Holy Spirit. Here in the Easter Season, we are celebrating Jesus’s resurrection, but also his victory over oppression, violence, worldly power, and evil. The poor always suffer the most from the sinful nature of people in positions of power. But in Christ, we have a way to rise above that worldly power. We have in the Holy Spirit an unstoppable heavenly power, freeing us from all coercion and hardship by enabling us to rise above our suffering, to use it for our sanctification. In this holy season, what do you ask God to help you rise above? What hardships do you need the Lord to transform?
In the Psalm, we are reminded that the Lord hears the cry of the poor, the broken-hearted, and the lowly. Meanwhile, the powerful and the evildoers he crushes. Why do we spend so much time trying to be powerful, when it so often takes us on a path away from the Lord? The Spirit’s providential love is enough for us. As in that first Resurrection, it works through the lives of God’s people, transforming the darkness into light. Jesus hears us when we need him most. He hears us when we struggle, and he takes the side of the people that we ignore or step on to get ahead or maintain our comfortable lifestyle. So like our Lord, let us hear the cry of the poor, and respond with love and charity.
My favorite line in today’s gospel is “he does not ration his gift of the Spirit.” New Life and Love are unlimited! Easter Joy is unbound! There is no end to what we will receive in Christ. What do you need today? Take a moment to consider it… Whatever it is, God has something far better in store for you in the endless life of faith. All our little deaths will finally end with new and abundant life! May our Easter Joy be truly unbound, springing from the limitless Love of Christ! Amen!
- Chris Nieport