Our First Reading this week is Acts 4:5-12.
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
When Jesus is no longer physically with them, the disciples are comforted and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts we hear their testimony of the risen Lord and see their work in His name. They have heard the call He has placed on their lives to go to all people.
The religious leaders are threatened by these words and actions, just as they were by the ministry of Jesus. Afraid of losing their power and position, they question Peter and John about these things, hoping to frighten them into silence and compliance. As we hear, it doesn’t work.
Like the disciples, we may also face criticism and resistance to our sharing the Good News. Even the things we do to help others may be seen as a threat by those who control through fear. Don’t let the ways of the world keep you from the kingdom work Jesus expects of us!
Loving Lord, we face challenges every day from those who oppose You. Help us to see the truth and share it with all Your children. Amen.