Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

I daresay that daydreamers pretty much have the market cornered when it comes to wishful thinking, do they not?  After all, they are the producer, director and lead actor in the “movies” they create for their personal “small screens”.

Nighttime dreams are another matter entirely.  In this case, their brain is really in charge.  Researchers tell us that within its gray confines, the brain has electrical impulses that work frenetically.  Multiple neurons bounce around quickly on charged pathways with no predictable pattern. They use fragments of past experiences with different people, sometimes dear friends or mere acquaintances, and at other times with presumed enemies. The end product is often weird or funny or both.  At other times it is horrible enough to be called a nightmare.

Daytime dreams, however, are often the stuff of fun and pleasure.  They are all about what we would like to happen.  The plot, however flimsy, always favors us.  So much so that we don’t want the production to end.

I found myself thinking about daydreams because I wondered if the Apostles’ had them.  Especially after the resurrection.  After the shock of Easter evening, when He came in person to visit them alive and well, right into their hiding place.  Suddenly the Good Friday horrors with their strong note of finality, come into perspective.  There Jesus was standing in their midst, looking different but more than hale and healthy. Some time later, He cooked a seaside breakfast for them.  They joined Him as He preached to a crowd of 500. He was the same but somehow different.

It would have been natural for them to daydream. Certainly for a bright future, when He would join them, and drawing crowds of admirers, ripe for conversion. They would be His proud and trusted aides. But then, all of a sudden He announces that He will be leaving them soon.  Just like that, all happy daydreams vanish!

But then He tells them it is better that He leaves.  In His place He would send them the mysterious “Advocate” or “Holy Spirit” to teach them all they needed to know about spreading the Good News.  What loving wisdom on His part, because it meant that they would be able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and gain the self confidence that their innate good will and imagination would enable them to shape the Church.

And so it is with us, with our similar baptismal mission to tell the world of the twenty-first century the same good news of the first century:  There is a personal God who loves us, a Trinity of persons, the second of which became man and died on a cross for our sins. Then He was raised from the dead, fully approved by His Father.  None of that is a daydream. It’s what keeps us fully awake and alive!  No nightmares possible.

Through it all, we begin to see a major truth about our Christian task. It is that we don’t change the message; the message changes us. Instead of being “down”, we are lifted up, up, up to God!

God love you and give you His Easter peace. 

Reading I:  Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29: Through prayer and consultation, the early Church resolves the thorny question of whether Gentile converts have to observe Jewish cultural rituals.  The answer was negative because this would put an unnecessary burden on them.

Reading II:  Revelation 21: 10-14, 22-23: All the nations, as noted in today’s Responsorial, are called to dwell in a glorious and heavenly Jerusalem, founded on the Lamb and His twelve apostles.

The Gospel:  John 14: 23-29: Jesus promises that the Father and He will dwell among them but not as Jesus has up until then.  He also promises to send “the Advocate” the Holy Spirit, who will teach them all they need to know.