When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
Today, our first reading continues the story of how the Pharisees, the chief priests and religious leaders of the day tried to stop Peter and John from proclaiming the Gospel after the cripple had been healed. As soon as Peter and John were released and were united with their friends, the whole company of believers gathered to pray so much so that the ground in which they stood was shaken.
Anytime we reflect on the earliest Christian communities as we have it in the Acts of Apostles, we cannot but feel sad at the situation of things in our churches today. The principle at work back then was: “When one member suffers, all suffer with him or her.” Does this principle still operate in our churches today? Do we still gather to pray for ourselves? Or have we become too busy to pray? Do we still have faith in the power of prayers?
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus reveals to Nicodemus some of the secrets of the spiritual life. “Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God, that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” This means that it is either we are living in the flesh or in the spirit.
When we live solely in the flesh, spiritual things do not make so much sense to us. We may call ourselves Christians, but so long as the flesh rules us, prayer becomes difficult for us. We need to sincerely ask God to revive us and reawaken us spiritually just like these early Christians who were practically set on fire for the Gospel.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, revive my drooping spirit, fill me with the Holy Spirit that I may continue being an instrument of your service. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Acts 4:23-31, Ps. 2:1-9, John 3:1-8)*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu