Wednesday, April 17, 2013

scattering

Homily
Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Easter
17 April 2013
St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas
Daily Readings

In today's reading from Acts, we see the scattering, and subsequent growth of the Church, during the first persecution in Jerusalem.  It is precisely because of persecution that the Church grows - that blood is spilt, Christians imprisoned, and they arrive at new places to preach the word.  Those who are serious about the new evangelization do well to consider that it is when things are easiest that the Church grows the least.  This might be true as well personally, for the last beatitude is perhaps the most important - Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you, and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.  Those of us here to drink in Easter graces would do well not to shy away from asking for the grace of persecution, witness and martyrdom, for it is an honor to give witness to the Risen Christ.  And what greater sign could we give that the eternal life promised in the Gospel is a  reality within us, than to lay down our earthly lives in perfect witness?

The scattering of the first disciples might also remind us of how the Lord has scattered himself, so as not to lose one of those he has been given.  This scattering of the Lord himself is due to a certain persecution of him . . . a lack of faith.  Those who saw him in the flesh did not believe, and yet eternal life according to St. John consists in just this thing . .. seeing and believing.  The persecution of unbelief did not deter our Lord . .  in fact, he trusts our belief all the more, and our vision, as he scatters and hides himself in the Eucharist despite even more certain disbelief and persecution.  He does this so that at least one more person might have a chance to see him and believe in him . . . and that he might not lose one of those he has been given.

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