Acts 6:-7; 1Pt 2:4-9; Jn 13:1-12 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.” In case you’ve lost a bit of intensity surrounding your Easter- fueled rejoicing, these words from the first letter of Peter should give you a boost. (Isn’t it curious, by the way, that there seems to be always someone around during Lent making sure we’re not letting up on our acts of self-denial but no one around during Easter making sure we keep rejoicing?)
Being a baby-boomer, I know that I was born into the most privileged generation in American history – possibly the most privileged generation to ever walk the earth. Of course, this has nothing to do with me or anything I’ve done (although it has certainly opened to me opportunities I would not have otherwise had) – just a happy circumstance of fate.
But even that pales in comparison to what Peter is writing about in this passage. The real privileged generation are those not born of flesh but of Spirit. Those who hear the voice of the good shepherd Jesus talked about last week and follow where it leads. No captain of industry, no celebrity of global fame, no athlete with his name on a sneaker possesses anything of worth compared to the gift bestowed upon each of us in our baptism.
And what does God ask in return? A grateful heart is a good start. Peter fills in the rest: “Anounce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The only purpose for the existence of the Church is to provide a means for getting the message out to the world that each and every human being is loved beyond her/his ability to imagine. Original Sin -rooted, I suspect, in the evolution of consciousness – bids us enter ever deeper into the darkness of self-loathing. How desparately Christ invites us to step into the light – and to bring a friend or two along with us.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrm)
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