Sunday May 14, 2023
Today's 1st reading from the Acts of the Apostles is fascinating on a number of levels. First, we see that the Messianic mission of Jesus to unite the dispersed tribes of Israel is fulfilled with the preaching of the Gospel in Samaria. Second, we see how Jesus fulfills this Messianic mission: He does not do it himself directly but rather through the ministry of the Apostles. Third, how are the Apostles able to do the work of Jesus? He gives them the Holy Spirit through baptism and the laying on of hands (i.e. the Sacrament of Confirmation). This is why, at the beginning of the book of Acts, the Apostles ask Jesus when he's going to restore the Kingdom of Israel, and he says, "You will receive power from on high, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."