Mass Reading & Meditation for April 2, 2013
Meditation: Acts 2:36-41
Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart. (Acts 2:37)
We all know what it’s like to head out the door in the morning, with all our expectations set for what we will accomplish that day. Well, in today’s reading, we find thousands of Jews gathering in Jerusalem as they did every year to commemorate the feast of Pentecost. They too had their expectations of how their day would unfold.
But then everything changed. An unexpected wind began to blow. Tongues of flame danced in the air. Impassioned fishermen, seeming to be drunk, began loudly praising God. This was no ordinary day!
Little did they know that the extraordinary was about to become supernatural. And it was about to become personal. As Peter told the gathering crowd about Jesus and his miraculous, saving resurrection, the people were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). What began as curiosity—and maybe even annoyance at ruined plans—ended in great joy. Not only had Jesus risen from the dead, his own Holy Spirit was moving in them, urging them to welcome him into their hearts. Jesus’ story became their story, and their lives were forever changed.
In a similar way, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’s body wrapped in burial cloths. But he was gone! Her grief gave way only when Jesus spoke her name, bringing life and hope to her wounded, weary heart.
Both of these stories tell us that Jesus has the power to stir our hearts and bring us to a new and deeper level of faith. They tell us that whenever our faith is stirred up, we are moved to respond. We want to follow Jesus more closely. Our love for him increases. Our desires change from worldly to heavenly. It’s not that we change ourselves. It’s the work of God, the power of his Spirit to transform our lives!
The people in Jerusalem were moved to accept baptism and receive the Spirit. Mary Magdalene’s grief turned into rejoicing, and she ran to tell the others that she had seen the Lord. God has something unexpected for you today, too. How will you respond?
“Jesus, thank you for rising from the dead. I am so grateful that you are at work changing me and strengthening my faith.”
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; John 20:11-18