“We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.”
After Peter and John have healed a man who was crippled from birth, they proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus and the salvation by repentance of sins. Many people came to believe, except for the Sadducees, the rulers, the elders and scribes. That is, many believed except for the men who were in power or in roles of authority. They felt threatened by the popularity of Jesus, even after His death; felt threatened by the resurrection of Jesus and all that it means. They wanted to stop Peter, John and any disciples to spread the good news.
Picture this, Peter, a fisherman by trade, was probably not highly educated. Under normal circumstances, when he was surrounded by these men in positions of authority, he would be fearful and perhaps stammering incoherently. However, because Peter was filled by the Holy Spirit, he was eloquent, fearless, truthful and unrelenting. Where Peter was an untuned instrument, upon receiving the Holy Spirit and the grace of speech, Peter became a fine instrument, like a Stradivarius.
Such a fine instrument, like a Stradivarius violin, is not meant to be kept in the dark for preservation. It is meant to be enjoyed and to bring joy to all those who hear the beautiful sounds. Peter, and the disciples who received the Holy Spirit, are such instruments. We too, are called to be such instruments. We too, are called to bring the good news to others.
It is frightening to stand up and witness for God. We may be open to ridicule, hatred or indifference. It is difficult to do this alone; that is why we ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us the words to say. Sometimes, it’s not even words, but what we do that can be a witness to others. If we stay silent, what we are saying is that we don’t believe God is powerful enough to overcome all, even our shortcomings. This is a long term battle — I am still working on my trust and confidence in God. But the good news is that God is infinitely merciful and infinitely loving. Hopefully, one day soon, without being afraid, I will make a sound that will bring joy to others, much like a Stradivarius, and much like Peter did.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, grant us the grace to follow Your commandment to love others as we love ourselves, to will the good of the other.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us despite our many transgressions.