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Scripture Reflection by Laura Johnson '08
The first reading this week from the Acts of the Apostles deals with Peter’s Sermon to the Jews at Pentecost. The ministry of Jesus the Nazarene was attested by God the Father to be of divine origin. Those who stood before Peter witnessed some of these attesting signs. Peter therefore declares that God the Father was intimately involved in the ministry of the Lord Jesus. While human hands were sinfully involved in the death of Jesus, His death was the sovereign plan and purpose of God from eternity past. These things were prophesied in the Old Testament. Peter expresses how David, himself, prophesied concerning the resurrection of the Messiah
The second reading from 1 Peter is based connected with reverence and “fear” of God. The first verse introduces the subject of fear with a command to live in fear, and one reason is set down as a basis for fear. The next two verses set down a second basis for our fear—the redemption which has been accomplished through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Finally, the last verses (20-21) set down a third basis for fear—the work of the Father in our salvation. The last verse also shows us that the theme of hope is still in Peter’s mind. The fear Peter calls for is the other side of hope, and it is a strong motivation for living a holy life.
The Gospel from the Book of Luke recalls the Emmaus account. Jesus' death scattered his disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams. They had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They saw the cross as defeat and could not comprehend the empty tomb until the Lord appeared to them and gave them understanding. Jesus scolds the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their slowness of heart to believe what the scriptures had said concerning the Messiah. They did not recognize the risen Jesus until he had broken bread with them.
How often do we fail to recognize the Lord when he speaks to our hearts and opens his mind to us? The Risen Lord is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us understanding of his ways. Do you listen attentively to the Word of God and allow his word to change and transform you?