4th Sunday Easter (Recap)
On the 4th Sunday of Easter, the Gesu community welcomed a newly baptized child named Theodore. While the gospel was about the good shepherd, I focused more on the first reading as a way to get into our connection with baptism.
First, the Acts of the Apostles tells of the healing/saving of the bling beggar (the Greek verb, sozo, allows for both translations) through the name of Jesus. And, Peter addresed the leaders and elders of the people, “Jesus is the cornerstone rejected by you the builders!” What was he saying?
Peter knew who he was. He was one who had betrayed Jesus, but was restored through Jesus’ resurrection & sending of the Holy Spirit.
Peter connected them with the beggar because he knew what it’s like to have walked in darkness and been found by the Light of Christ. And so he challenged the leaders & elders to look into their hearts to find their blindness by proclaiming the story of Jesus.
And, actually, it’s all about the Good Shepherd in this sense: The Bible goes after false shepherds who take from the flock, who flee when danger appears, who befoul the water upstream from where the flock waters.
It’s one thing for me or for any of us clergy to say, “I’m not perfect.” It’s another to say, “I take rather than give. I give when I get something out of it. I am afraid to stand by the little flock who suffers from the wolves every day. I flee.” Of course, this applies to dads and moms and professors and civil servants and politicians and… me. You?
The Church speaks authentically when we are honest about our sins and shortcomings. When we don’t pretend otherwise. And when we know Christ risen indeed. Then we can address others who are in the same place in their lives. “Be free from blindness!”
We who have been baptized into Christ, have been baptized into his death. We were buried with him that we might be raised to a like resurrection.