April 22, 2018 — Fourth Sunday of Easter
ACTS 4: 8-12; PS 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29; 1 JN 3: 1-2; JN 10: 11-18
“He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” This is St Peter preaching again in the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. However, in this instance he is speaking at his own trial. He and St. John had been imprisoned.
What a different man Peter is compared to the man who denied Jesus in fear! Peter is no longer intimidated by the authorities; keep in mind that this is in effect the same court which condemned Christ to crucifixion. Earlier in Acts we witness Peter and the other disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not a one-time event, but something ongoing throughout their lives.
A woman named Corrie Ten Boom was a resistance leader and practitioner in the Netherlands in World War II. She and her sister provided a hiding place for Jews and others being sought by the Nazis. She later wrote a book titled The Hiding Place about those experiences. The Ten Booms were betrayed in 1944, arrested, and brought to trial. What she stated at that trial very much parallels what we hear from St. Peter today. She cited the power of the Holy Spirit.
She said, “Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” Like St. Peter and Corrie Ten Boom, we are all filled with the Holy Spirit. Do we let it flow out of us?