Homily for Thursday of the 4th Week of Easter
It’s amazing to me how the Lord always seems to choose the right person to be His messenger at different moments. We see it time and again throughout Scripture, but I’m also sure that we’ve experienced it in our own lives as well. What we come to understand from that is the Lord never makes a mistake in who He chooses to take His Word, to take His message of salvation out to those who need to hear it. We have an example of that in today’s first reading.
Last week, we heard about Paul’s conversion. And after that moment, throughout the Acts of the Apostles, we see what the Lord does through Paul to bring others to a moment of conversion. Paul is the perfect person to preach the Good News of Jesus because of his understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. He is the perfect person to challenge his fellow Jewish leaders to recognize how they got it wrong with Jesus. This morning’s readings from Acts shows how Paul goes about doing that.
He knows that those who are listening to his message understand Scripture themselves, they would understand the connections that he is making to show just who Jesus is. Paul recounts all the good things God had done for the people of Israel and how He had chosen the right people at the exact moment that they were needed. He makes the connection between Jesus and David. But he also shows how God has a history of removing those who have strayed from their mission and purpose in order to bring about a new messenger, a new servant who would accomplish what He needed them to so that His chosen people could be brought into deeper communion with Him. Paul shows his fellow Jews how God had done the exact same thing with the sending of Jesus into the world.
The Father needed Paul to be His messenger, He needed Paul to bring His message of salvation to the Jews and later to the Gentiles. That same need continues today. The Father continues to need messengers to go out and proclaim the Good News that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of the world. The Father needs us to be those messengers. Today, the Father is asking us to respond to that invitation, He has chosen us. Are we willing to take that message to those in the world? Are we willing to risk it all to tell others about the saving love of Jesus? Let’s ask for the courage to say yes to that invitation today.
Painting: St. Paul Preaching in Athens, Raphael (1515). Used under Public Domain from Wikicommons.