Forty, less one- Friday, 2nd week of Easter- Acts 5:34-42

Some years ago, during a retreat, the preacher said something that has since become an integral part of my priestly ministry. In consulting his spiritual director over the matter of accepting a post in the congregation, he was told the following by his spiritual director, “If you have in any way exercised influence to obtain this post, then know that you will fail even if you get the post; if not, it is God’s will and you will succeed.”

Most of us wrangle for jobs or services often with good intentions. But over a period of time nothing seems to go right, no matter how qualified we are or how well-meaning our belief may be. It has been my own experience that when God has ordained for you a task, no matter how ill equipped you may think you are to run it, you will succeed, for this is His idea.

It was God’s idea to send us a Saviour who though He endured suffering, was to rise again so that we would share in the same grace. All this was a bit too much for the Sanhedrin led by Caiaphas who had plotted the death of the “author of life” and now wished the same for His disciples.

No matter how often Peter and the apostles were told not to utter or preach in the name of Jesus, they were not to be silenced.  Peter lost no opportunity to bear witness to the name of Jesus, and the trial before the Sanhedrin simply provided him with another opportunity to proclaim his belief. Laying the death of Jesus squarely on the Jewish religious establishment, he so incensed the authorities that they “wanted to kill them.”

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