I love when we get to the Acts of the Apostles during the liturgical year. What a story, right? The strife, the conflict, the questions, and the confusion alongside the utter confidence and deep belief that imbued every member of the early Church—every year, it’s a striking reminder of what it could look like to walk into the world lit up from within with the light of Christ.
I feel like I can’t relate, though. They were so extraordinary, I tell myself. They were important, special, chosen to have this close relationship with Jesus. But it’s all a matter of perception. In today’s reading, we get a different perspective:
“Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.”
Why am I so committed, taking the perspective of the elders and scribes when I look at myself? I struggle to look beyond my ordinary exterior to see myself as I truly am, as God wants me to be.
Each of us is as chosen today as Saints Peter and John were in the days after the Resurrection. We, too, are called to have a transformative relationship with Christ. The expectations of the world we live in—the one that called Saints Peter and John uneducated and ordinary—tell a story about each of us that isn’t the whole truth.
The world looks at me, seeking a very specific list of qualities: how do I look, act, speak, dress? Do I fit into the mold that society has asked me to pour myself into?
I will never be able to shape myself for that mold because God shaped me in one very certain mold: His own. I have been created in the image and likeness of God, and so have you. When we recognize that and begin to truly live that in our lives, we can start to throw off this world’s ideas about us.
Each of us is created, hand-molded, by God. When we know that, the rest of the world can begin to recognize us for who we really are: the companions of Jesus.
Brigid Hogan is a midwestern graduate student who finds peace in lakes, the Mass, and fiction when she isn’t ensconced in schoolwork. Find out more about her here.