During these weeks of Eastertide the Liturgy invites us – over the 50 days of the season – to reflect on how the gift of peace given by the Risen Christ to his disciples is to be lived out and made something truly transformative in our lives today.
The readings from the Acts of the Apostles are not given to us as a mere history lesson – 'this is what happened once upon a time'; rather, they are intended to act as an inspiration from which we can take lessons for our own Christian living in this year of the Lord 2016. So there is a sense in which the Acts of the Apostles is a book that is still being written. It is the story of the grace and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit at work, both then and now, meaning in the everyday witness of your life and my life, our parishes, schools and families.
The work of the Holy Spirit is stressed and highlighted throughout this book of Acts: it is the Holy Spirit that leads us into a more perfect understanding, a more perfect love, a more perfect discipleship. None of us are perfect – or indeed yet perfected. The growth and transformation which are needed in our lives may be as instantaneous as the Damascus road experience for Paul, or as gradual as Peter's when he remarks "the truth I have now come to realise ...". However, change and transformation there need to be.
As we draw closer to the 50th day, the day of Pentecost, the Liturgy invites us to give renewed thanks for the action of the Holy Spirit and to pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. May we be always truly wise.
Wishing you a happy and fruitful Eastertide!