Having finished reading our way through the Gospel, we now turn to the second book written by Luke: the Acts of the Apostles. From a practical perspective, what we’ll read narrates the events of the thirty years following Jesus’ ascension (33-63 A.D.), and the rest of the New Testament – the letters (Epistles) of St. Paul, the other letters, and the Book of Revelation are all set during the events of this period.
But to diminish the story of the Church – even these first few decades of the early Church – to the events that took place misses a part of the point. The Apostles will receive the Holy Spirit and they will set off on a mission to proclaim the Gospel first in Jerusalem, then in Judea & Samaria, and finally to the ends of the earth. The role of the Holy Spirit cannot be overstated here as it is the Spirit that guides and animates the Church both then and now. It has been said that the Holy Spirit is the protagonist in the Acts of the Apostles – and this is something critically important for us to keep in mind as well. The fact is that we continue to live in the era of the Church, and the Holy Spirit continues to be active, to animate the life of the Church, and to be the protagonist in all of our stories.
My video introduction to this series is below, and here are the readings for the upcoming week: