Commentary on the Gospel of
With today’s liturgy, we “end” the Easter season, and anticipate the celebration of Pentecost tomorrow, recognizing the fullness of Christ’s resurrected presence with us now through action of the Holy Spirit.
The first reading consists of the last passages of the book of Acts, closing the chapter on Paul’s ministry. The writer of Acts chooses to end Paul’s story not with an exalted summary of his ministry, nor with his martyrdom, but in a very ordinary way. He describes Paul’s continued efforts to minister to those who came to him, teach about Jesus Christ and proclaim the Kingdom of God, despite being on house arrest.
The Gospel of John ends in an interesting way as well. The writer describes yet another attempt on Jesus’ part to help Peter “get it”, as we would say today. Peter is again eager for answers, explanations and certainties – and Jesus again invites him into mystery and ambiguity, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
These readings today offer us the reminder that even with the “end” of the Easter season, there is no end to our continuing the Christian journey in fidelity and love, even in the face of challenges. Although no longer in the “honeymoon” of our relationship with Jesus following the astonishment of his resurrection, we stay faithful. In the midst of questions, doubts, and our own need for certainties, for fairness, for explanations, we stay faithful, turning to the one who always responds with what we need, even if not with the answers we seek.
We pray today for these graces –
for faithfulness in the face of challenge
for the courage to be honest with God about our desires and questions
for the wisdom to live with uncertainty.