Readings for Today
How do we look upon others? Peter and John are seen by the leaders of the Sanhedrin as ordinary, uneducated men. How could they be vehicles of the power of God? Do we entertain the belief that God can work and speak through anyone? Do we eliminate others because of the way we perceive them? Who are the ordinary and uneducated we exclude?
When we perceive what happens in our world it is not that difficult to see many ordinary and uneducated. Perhaps we exclude those who do menial, service jobs. Do we value janitors, fast food workers, cashiers at a variety of stores? What about garbage collectors, auto workers, auto repair men and women? Do we overlook those who speak poorly?
Even though those in the Sanhedrin cannot deny the powerful signs and works accomplished through Peter and John, do they really open themselves to the miraculous that is occurring through them, because they can dismiss them as ordinary and uneducated?
I recall a man in a parish I was in who taught me much about God. When I first moved into this parish, I was taken aback when envelopes appeared in my mailbox, with the names of every candidate for office written all over them. It was not simply the well-known candidates, but was literally every candidate running, some I had to look up to even know who they were. The man who wrote on these envelopes, and the many I was to receive during my time there was schizophrenic. There were times he left very old coins, some decades old, and a few dating back almost two centuries. When I asked the group home where he lived if they realized he was leaving these coins, they said he did. He recognized this was the only thing of value he really had and he wanted them to be given to God.
When this man attended Mass, he often raised his arms high in the air, and there were times he laughed loudly or made loud unintelligible noises. I was proud of our little congregation that they always welcomed him warmly. He was a phenomenally good organ player. I would even have encouraged him to play for Mass if there was any certainty of what he would play. But we were as likely to hear Christmas music in July and patriotic hymns at Christmas.
But what I will remember most about him is that in the midst of all of this, he taught me much about God. He could be profound. Sometimes what he wrote forced me to examine my life. And while he did not perform an obvious miracle, he did teach me much about Jesus. Is there someone in your life that would teach you about Jesus if you allowed it to happen?