Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection – Friday of the Easter Octave, April 22, 2022
Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27a; Jn 21:1-14
All week long we have been hearing about the boldness of the disciples proclaiming the truth about Jesus. As we approach the end of the Easter Octave, today, Friday, is no exception. Peter, who was at many times shy and afraid, boldly speaks again about who Jesus was. In fact, he really throws it in their face, “..then all of you and all the people of Israel should know it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are saved.”
I can just picture the crowd, with their mouths open wide in shock. If you read on in Acts, it says the Sanhedrin were so perplexed by what they heard and saw, they could not do anything. They had no choice but to let Peter and the rest of the disciples go free. This just emboldened them some more, to keep preaching the truth. Think about that for a moment, this was Peter, who only a short time before denied Jesus three times, now speaks with such boldness that he does not care about his own life. The only way Peter can do this, is by being filled with the Holy Spirit. Fast forward to the Gospel where when Peter sees Jesus, he is so excited he basically jumps into the water, clothes and all, and swims to meet Jesus on the shore. So full of joy and love that he can hardly keep himself contained.
Peter’s love and excitement for Jesus is very contagious, especially right after Easter. To see the risen Jesus had to be one of great joy for all the disciples, and it is one of great joy for us as well. Jesus did not promise the gifts of the Holy Spirit for only the disciples, He promised it to us all. And His promise of salvation is for us all as well. In these two examples with Peter, we see an infilling of the Holy Spirit into Peter, and a full grasp of who Jesus is in the love Peter shows for him. Are you letting the Holy Spirit fill you up with that boldness? Are you showing your unashamed love for Jesus? While we do not have to speak in front of a large audience or jump in the sea and swim toward one whom we love, we can, and should speak proudly of the one who saves us. Peter spoke it loud and clear, there is no one else through whom we are saved. It is only through Jesus and our love for Him. So the next time you are in a crowd, or one-on-one with someone, do not be afraid to speak about Our Savior. Let the Holy Spirit fill you up and share your love of Jesus to others.