Acts 3:11-26; O Lord our God how wonderful your name in all the earth Ps 8; Luke 24:35-48
A few lines from the mouth of Peter from the first reading of the Acts of the Apostles:
"The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are all witnesses."
"I know that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer."
The phrase that stands out for me this morning as we continue to enter more deeply into the Easter reality is "but God."
The phrase "but God" acts as in invitation to look at reality from a new perspective. It reminds us that God is always acting and he uses our decisions, good or bad, to bring about that which ultimately is the best for all.
Think about the first line from above, "The author of life you put to death but God raised him."
In other words, you can't keep God down. God does not give up. God continually works.
Or the second phrase, "I know you acted out of ignorance, but God has brought fulfillment what he announced."
The beauty of that phrase used by St. Peter "but God" is that it reminds us that neither human violence nor human ignorance can derail the plan of God.
"But God" is always on top, shining through, his light penetrates all darkness whether it be the darkness of violence or the darkness of ignorance, "but God." It shines forth and moves forward unhindered.
God has a plan and as St. Peter states so well, "of this we are all witnesses."
"But God" is not just a catch phrase but rather it should be the heart of the Christian's attitude and life style.
How often we hear people talk about being optimistic, which is good in its own right. However, St. Peter invites us to a new level of living where our human optimist is replaced by the divine reality, "but God" from which lasting hope shall spring.
As we look to the gospel we hear the words of the gospel in reference to Jesus, "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures."
How often in scriptures from beginning to end do we encounter that phrase, "but God".
Sometimes we forget that we do not go alone. SOmetimes we get down having lost sight of the one who holds us in the palm of his hands. Sometimes human optimism wanes and the subtle darkness of doubt sets in. Sometimes.....but God makes all the difference.
As Jesus tells the disciples so he speaks to us, "you are all witnesses of these things." And what do we witness, "but God...."