Acts 6: 1-7; 1Peter 2: 4-9; John 14: 1-12
We have an ongoing joke, as well as call each other out on it, to the infamous phrase, “We’ve always done it that way.” Now we may never utter those words, but we speak it with our actions a lot of the time. Yet, if we are to allow ourselves to become the “spiritual powerhouse” that Peter speaks of in today’s Second Reading, we must learn to let things go. That can even be said of the way we pray. If we continue to only pray the way we did as kids, we’re probably doing something wrong or frustrated with our prayer life and God, but “we’ve always done it that way” has a way to take hold of our hearts like none other. In order to become that spiritual powerhouse as individuals and as a community, we must accept change as a part of who we are. Just think about your own relationships. Those who are married or long term relationships know that change is necessary; it’s what make the relationship grow. The same it true with our relationship with God and our desire to become a “spiritual powerhouse.”
It’s what’s going on in the first reading as they new leaders are chosen. There’s a disagreement that sets up between the Hellenists and the Hebrews. There are people who’s needs are not being met, but the Hebrews were quite content in maintenance and status quo, keep doing what we’re doing; whereas the Hellenists were seen as progressive in their own way and demanding change because life was changing and the community was changing and new needs were arising. They could no longer keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s unfortunate that we only hear Acts during the Easter Season because they can teach us a great deal of how a community changes and grows and needs to let go, especially of the past, in order to move forward and to become as Peter says, that “spiritual powerhouse.” We must first recognize the “stumbling stone” within our own lives. What do we continue to hold onto that keeps us in that mindset of “we’ve always done it that way”? Until the desire to become the spiritual powerhouse that God wants for us to become outweighs the desire to hold onto something, to the known, we will fight God and letting go and trusting and in reality, faith.
Jesus tells the disciples that when you grow in trust and faith and let things go, you can do great things. As a matter of fact, he says, out of the mouth of Jesus, you can even do greater things because it’s no longer you but the Father, God, working through you that accomplishes greatness. Whether we like it or not, those words are a part of us, “we’ve always done it that way” and it’s hard to break because we are much more satisfied with the comfortable and what is known rather than stepping out into something new and to the unknown. Yet, to truly become that spiritual powerhouse, as individuals and a community, we must do just that…recognize the humiliation that it is a part of us, that stumbling stone, and begin to open ourselves up to the Kingdom that God wants to create, not the one we settle for so often in life. We pray for the courage to become that spiritual powerhouse and ultimately, to change the world by God working through and in us!