Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now reflect on how the Lord strengthens the early Christian community, enabling it to grow and to serve those most in need. The vitality of the emerging Church, even when threatened by attacks, can be seen in the ministry of Saint Peter. Like Jesus, he is drawn to the suffering, especially the sick and infirm, and – filled with the Spirit of the Lord – he carries out Christ’s own work of healing. Yet such activity induces the hatred of the Sadducees, who imprison the Apostles and seek to put a stop to their teaching.
Peter’s response, however, that “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), provides us with a key to our Christian life. This means listening to God without delay or reservation, and remaining faithful to him. As we strive to be of service to our brothers and sisters, let us ask the Holy Spirit for the interior strength of knowing that the Lord is always at our side.