IN THE FIRST BOOK, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. After His suffering He presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God. While staying with them, He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from Me, for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, is this the time when You will restore the Kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What stands out to me from this Epistle reading for Pascha is that the disciples of Christ, even after His resurrection, were still confused about His Kingship, "Lord, is this the time when You will restore the Kingdom of Israel?" They just witnessed a man who suffered a horrible execution, died, and came back to life...and they still thought that He was about to restore Israel's dominance.
So if you are having some doubts, or struggling with your faith, or having moments of weakness, remember, that even the disciples went through the same. Doubt itself is not a bad thing. Rejection of God is. Asking questions, searching for answers and for our faith is what makes it grow.
For last year's reflection, click here.
Yours in the Lord,
Father Aleksey - your friendly Singac priest