If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe. [However] if in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart…. It will be your witness that brings him the restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works.—Pope Francis Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, February 27, 2014
Scripture Text: (ACTS 4:13-21)
Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,
and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.
Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them,
they could say nothing in reply.
So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin,
and conferred with one another, saying,
"What are we to do with these men?
Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign
was done through them, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,
let us give them a stern warning
never again to speak to anyone in this name."
So they called them back
and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,
"Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."
After threatening them further,
they released them,
finding no way to punish them,
on account of the people who were all praising God
for what had happened.
Christ is at work in my life. This I know. Lent and Easter have given me the opportunity again this year to reflect on the promise of life everlasting, and how that promise has been made to me through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can I deny it and how can I not willingly, gratefully share it? In Star Wars, Yoda admonished “There is NO 'try' – there is only 'do'”. I need to exercise in this apostolic effort the same discipline necessary for any other healthy behavior like eating well or moving my body every day. Perhaps this is true for you, also?