Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
One thing striking in the 1st reading is the fact that very few years have passed since the disappearance of Jesus; yet the Church is already structured. Jesus made it so. At the same time it is not a machine. He gave it freedom to face difficulties and challenges with human prudence, being always docile to the Holy Spirit.
Should such reflection help us to evaluate situations today that challenge the successors of the apostles? Think for a moment about recent challenges faced by the Archbishop of San Francisco. Just as the Christian Pharisees “who went out without any mandate from us [the apostle] have upset you with their teaching and disturbed your peace of mind,” so the self-named ‘faithful Catholics’ of San Francisco have challenged the authority of the successor of the apostles there.
Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel – “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” – should encourage us whenever we hear of learn about challenges to our bishops, the successors to the apostles. The Lord chose them to guide the Church. The Lord will be faithful in giving them the Holy Spirit in fulfilling their task. And he has chosen us to give witness to that fact.