- Bill Miller
Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2022
Today's first reading concludes with the words, "The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” But this high note on which the passage ends is not the whole story. Yes, the Gentiles were delighted with what they heard from Paul and Barnabas but Paul and Barnabas were persecuted and expelled from Pisidian Antioch!
And John's vision in the second reading presents a great multitude with the words "God will wipe every tear from their eyes .“ Yet, this multitude is described as "the ones who have survived the time of great distress. “
The mystic Julian of Norwich is remembered for her promise, “All shall be well.” We understand that to mean… ultimately… all will be well. But clearly, if today's first two readings and our own experience are to be believed, the road to ultimately can be pretty rocky.
So how are we to interpret the encouragement we see in the gospel? …the good news that we are in God's hands? Apparently being in God's hands does not rule out persecution and times of distress! Bummer!
Do you remember the TV commercial that told us how fortunate we were if we were in the “good hands” of a particular insurance company? That insurance company did not promise no fires, floods or automobile accidents… because… Insurance company! It did promise that in those good hands you were not alone.
Well… and this may sound like the least sophisticated spiritual advice you'll hear all week … I suggest, it's like that.
To be in God's hands does not foreclose pain, problems… even tragedy. Because it's not about safety. It's about relationship. It's about knowing that we are never alone.
It's knowing that whatever life throws at you… you are in the Best Possible Hands!
by: Pat Schnee