If You Love Me

This week, I have been perplexed. This has been one of those weeks for me that seems to have dragged by in the moment but in reality, it has flown. In that space taking a moment to read and reflect usually help center me. This week was a bit different. For once I was not drawn to the Gospel in this weeks lectionary, the reading from Acts that we usually see during the Easter Octave caught my attention this week.

The text of the reading from Acts caught my attention primarily because it wasn’t voiced as one of the Apostles telling the story. It is completely from the outsiders perspective. Our perspective. This week focuses on some people going out claiming to be Apostles teaching people that non of them had ever said. In this case, what it means to join the Christian community.

This drew my attention because through the pandemic and the rising popularity of Tik Tok and other social media platforms, pastors have been creative, posting reflections and spreading the faith in ways that reach us in our homes and daily lives versus the confines of the church, and with that we are hearing some of the things that pastors normally would be teaching behind closed doors. They usually begin with things like “Jesus said” and usually something condemning people follows.

This disturbs me because Jesus never condemned the actions of ordinary individuals, it was always the religious leaders that Jesus was condemning, for not welcoming people, for not finding humanity in people, and for making God inaccessible to every day people. Which brings the Gospel into better clarity, “If you love me follow my commandments!”

In your day to day lives, as you are ministering in the world as the baptismal covenant calls us to do, what are you teaching people about Jesus by the way you live. Are you condemning people by not being charitable and wearing a mask when asked? Are you being kind to those who need it, or are we not shining the light of God in someones darkest moments? This is what our call is to be bringers of the Good news to all not just those who agree with us. Don’t just teach, show people. God bless.

Fr. Matt