It has been thirty-five days since we celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter. But it seems like thirty-five weeks since we began living with the corona virus and the disruptions in every aspect of our lives! We wonder if life will ever be like it was before the pandemic as we ponder what it may be like after.
This weekend’s readings give us a look at a “before and after” in the lives of the apostles. John’s gospel recounts Jesus’ words to His chosen as He prepares them for the moment when He will return to His Father at the Ascension. He assures them that they will not be left alone. He will send them the Spirit to comfort, heal, console and strengthen them.
The Acts of the Apostles tell us what it was really like for them after Jesus’ Ascension. They did receive the Spirit! And fortified by this they preached to the Samaritans, a group weary of prejudice against them and wary of this new group and their preaching. But in hearing the Good News they experienced Jesus as being among them. And the apostles confirmed this by calling down the Spirit to seal their faith and hope.
Jesus has been with us, before and during this pandemic. The Spirit we received in Baptism and Confirmation has enabled us to reach out in prayer and compassion and be united while living apart from family and friends.