Let us take notice of how as the apostles prayed, "the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." Two things jumped out at me as I prayed with these scriptures. The first concerns the Holy Spirit. Here we have Peter and John, just released from jail and returning to the rest of the apostles, not sure of what is going to happen next. It was not an easy time for them. They gather in prayer and through that prayer they experience the coming of the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure if I was in that room with them I would have thought all the shaking and movement was that of the third person of the Blessed Trinity! I think I would have been just as frightened as they were. The Holy Spirit challenges us to come out of our comfort zone, leave our places of safety, security and tranquility and trust in a power other than ourselves.
The second thing that jumped out at me was that word, boldness! It’s hard to be bold and fearful at the same time! When we are open to the Spirit of God working in our lives, we can accomplish so much more than we ever imagined. Peter and John and the others lived the gospel message boldly strengthened by their belief in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are called as disciples of the risen Jesus to do likewise. The early church stepped out with passion, faith, fortitude and especially courage in living the message of Jesus. As the Church of 2014 we are called to follow in the steps of those early disciples of Jesus in spreading the good news to a world hungry for hope, peace and justice for all God’s people. The spirit will guide us, encourage us and strengthen us as we travel boldly along the road that we walk as disciples of the risen Christ.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.