The End is the Beginning

Friends in Christ, today as we near the end of the Easter Season, the Gospel reading is from the very end, of the gospel of John. The first reading from Acts, is the very end of Acts of the Apostles. Something is coming to an end here.
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In John’s Gospel, we see that the life of St. Peter is nearing the end. Jesus has foretold his death, that he will be a martyr, crucified like him. And it will soon be so. In Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul is in prison, in Rome, where he will die. He will be a martyr, decapitated for the Faith. So we are hearing about endings today. Endings to the gospel, to Acts, to the life of St. Peter and St. Paul – It is an indication, a sign for us, of the ending of the Apostolic Age. St. John will be the last of the Apostles, who will die at the end of the 1st Century.
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Mother Church gives us these readings today just before Pentecost. And it is Pentecost in which we see that the Church has come alive by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is this Holy Spirit, who drives St. Peter on, drives St. Paul and St. John and the rest, to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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Jesus continues to live on in the Church, in his Mystical Body, which is us. He is doing many things, much good in us. At the end of the Gospel today it says that Jesus did many other things, more than could ever be written in all the books of the world – I think this means, that Jesus continues to live in his Mystical Body, in us, and he wishes to do many good things in us.
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The message therefore that we can take, is that even though the great Apostles will die – even though the Apostolic Age is coming to a close – the Church is alive, and this work of the Holy Spirit in the Church will continue and flourish to the end of time.
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After Pentecost we will return to Ordinary time, and the Liturgical color becomes green. Green – for growth. Growth for us in our daily spiritual life, and also growth for the whole Church. The death of the Apostles and the end of the Apostolic age were only the seeds for the growth of the Church. We grow by the grace and the Spirit of Christ, and together Mother Church grows in us.
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The Church is a great Ship; all through the scriptures, the ‘boat’ is the symbol of the Church, even from Noah’s Ark; in this Ship, the Church, the wind in our sails is the Divine Breath of the Holy Spirit, moving us through the waters of time. The world will pound and assail the Ship of Christ, but the wind blows, and we sail on, toward heaven.

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