Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
In the Gospel of John the Resurrection, Ascension and giving of the Spirit all take place on Easter Day. Luke is a little more flexible – he has the Ascension on Easter night in the Gospel and after 40 days in the Book of Acts. Then the disciples have to wait 10 more days for the sending of the Spirit. So what can these discrepancies tell us? At the Easter Vigil, during the blessing of the Paschal Candle, the priest says, ‘All time belongs to him’. For Jesus Christ, rising, ascending to the Father and sending the Spirit can happen in one moment but we, who now are bound by time, live moment by moment, slowly growing into an understanding of our faith. In Acts, Jesus uses the 40 days to continue to instruct his disciples – and even then at the end of that time they are not ready for his mission. They need the Spirit…but they don’t realise that yet. Waiting those 10 days would make them think about the enormity of the mission ahead of them and their inadequacy for the task.
Quite simply for us, things take time: whether it is the growth of a child, the learning of a task or growth in faith. It is a common religious experience that in a moment of grace we see things with a peculiar clarity and insight. The moment passes but it is not lost. We are expected to ‘unpack’ these moments of grace, to ponder them, pray over them and apply them to our lives. Like Jesus’ Resurrection, they take but a moment, but to understand them takes many moments of wondering and learning till we discover how to make them a reality in our lives.