Reading 1 Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.
The line about saving yourselves from this corrupt generation really stood out to me. The words jumped out because of the relevance they have to modern day society. Many many people have fallen away from their faith, and others even view religion as “bad”. There is an apathetic view toward religion, and people simply do not care. Not only is this generation spiritually lazy, but they are moving to a lifestyle that is opposite of God. There seems to be more of a culture that is into pleasure and instant gratification – sex, drugs, alcohol, cheating, lying, stealing…. Do what you want and do what feels good is pretty much the motto.
We need a different motto. We need saving. Repenting is step 1, and accepting Jesus into our hearts is next. Saving souls can come after that because just like that day when 3,000 were baptized, we can bring others to Christ with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Reading 2 1 Pt 2:20b-25
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an Example that you should follow in His Footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His Mouth.
When He was insulted, He returned no insult;
when He suffered, He did not threaten;
instead, He handed Himself over to the One who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in His Body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By His Wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
Patience while suffering. That is something I definitely need to learn. I complain, worry, stress, and question things because I want to know why I am suffering and how to fix it immediately. That waiting period psyches and freaks me out to the point where it eats me away. It becomes my idol, and I tend to only think/focus on the suffering. I let it take me down and away from God. It is consuming, and I try to do it all on my own. I need to instead look to the cross where our Savior healed all suffering. His suffering allows me to know I am not alone in mine and gives a perfect Example of how not to sin yet still glorify God through the pain. Rather than only looking to the hurt, I need to break down my walls and allow myself to be brought back to my Guardian. Only then can my soul fully be restored.
Gospel Jn 10:1-10
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what He was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the Gate for the sheep.
All who came before Me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the Gate.
Whoever enters through Me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
We must follow Jesus. He is the One that will bring us to where we need to be. Many people/things will try to steer us in one direction or another, but we have to spend enough time in prayer and contemplation to know God’s Voice. We need to recognize Him and pick Him out of the cloud of voices that attempt to lead us astray. Jesus is the only Way to true life. He came so we might live more abundantly. When you’re looking for happiness, you’re looking for Jesus. How many things promise us happiness if we just buy this or sell this or eat this or watch this…The list goes on, but there will always be an empty void waiting to be filled. It can be filled for a while, but nothing will actually satisfy us. Jesus is the Answer for that loving-life spirit and soul-filled attitude.