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Fifth Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

Reflecting on Acts 6: 1-7

It’s so embarrassing to look back on the behavior of the dominant culture in every age. We know, because we are living it right now, that the day will surely come when children will say to their parents, “You could have saved us from environmental disaster and you did WHAT?”

Looking back at the things we took for granted is so shocking now. We watch TITANIC and say, “WHAT? People lived and people died on that ship depending on how much MONEY they had?” The answer is YES. Financial status seemed the only proper way to decide who had access to the lifeboats.

Every day, it seems, another appalling injustice from generations ago is brought to light. As author Bonnie Garmus wrote, “some things needed to stay in the past because the past was the only place they made sense.”

I think of all this as I read that ultra embarrassing sentence from Acts today: the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

This is in the earliest days of the Church, when miracles abounded, and huge numbers were added to the Church every day! The eyewitnesses to the Risen Lord were walking and talking in Galilee and Jerusalem, giving witness to the greatest event in all history.

And yet. When the food was distributed to the community of believers, it was understood that the widows of the Greek-speaking Jews would be neglected. They didn’t speak Hebrew, they lived in the Diaspora (outside of Jerusalem), and they didn’t have any husbands to speak for them. They were invisible.

O God, save us from the blindness upon which later generations will judge us.

What behaviors of yours in the past do you particularly regret today?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Easter - Cycle A

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