Year A: Fourth Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 2: 14, 36-41
Today’s reading picks up where last week’s left off - Peter’s speech on that first Pentecost Day.
Now we begin to see the reaction of the people to his words - they were “cut to the heart” by what he said. The arguments he used were full of authority - but it was the way they spoke to people’s hearts that had the greatest influence. They heard the Truth of what he was saying resonate deep within them - and wanted to change - but how were they to do this?
Peter’s answer is Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. This Baptism will bring forgiveness and a new start. Then, the gift of forgiveness will be sealed by the coming of the Holy Spirit into their lives. Baptism and Confirmation - one straight after the other as catechumens receive them at the Easter Vigil. For most of us, Baptism and Confirmation are separated by several - even many - years and it is easy to lose sight of the fact that they are so closely connected. Both are sacraments of initiation - that is they lead us into the fullness of communion with the Church. Both help us to lay down what it past - and inspire us a new way of being.
That first Pentecost saw three thousand people do just that.
Perhaps today offers us a chance to reflect on Baptism and Confirmation. A few weeks ago, we may have seen people making the same commitment as those making it two thousand years ago. All around the world, people are drawn to the person of Jesus - to his loving sacrifice and resurrection - and to the promise of eternal life.
What does it mean for me?
Text © 2007 WellspringWeekly Wellsprings |