Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Ps 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48
It’s funny how the presence of certain people can shift our perspective on our fears and our problems. I once heard a story about a meeting between the former Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Kolvenbach, and Pope John Paul II. According to the story (which at least has the ring of truth), John Paul was by this point already quite diminished by Parkinson’s Disease. Fr. Kolvenbach, then more than 80 years old, had come to ask for permission to step down as General. John Paul declined his resignation and Fr. Kolvenbach accepted his decision tranquilly. When he returned to Jesuit headquarters, his fellow Jesuits inquired about the meeting, and Fr. Kolvenbach observed rather matter-of-factly, “It’s very difficult for me to stand before this Pope and argue that I am too old and too frail to do my job.” In light of John Paul’s own heroic perseverance, in other words, even substantial concerns and frailties came to seem rather manageable by comparison.
The presence of the Risen Christ seems to have had a similar effect on his first disciples—only more so. Read the rest of this entry »