The first recorded miracle of Jesus was done at the joyous occasion of a marriage in Cana. Mary’s simple statement, “They have no wine”-1 results in the beginning of Jesus’ public life. From Cana He travels to Capharnum and then Jerusalem. Where today’s Gospel shows Jesus in the temple where he found people selling pigeons, oxen and sheep.-2 His righteous anger spills out of Him causing chaos among all the bewildered sellers. They in turn, challenge Him with, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” To which Jesus replies, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” -3

These three encounters are listed here to show how even the earliest events in Christ’s life affected the Apostles, later on. The Gospel verse John 2:22 shows the impact of these events with, “When therefore He was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that He had said this; and they believed…”

We commonly understand that Christ’s public life lasted for three years. We don’t exactly know when the group of the apostles came into existence, but it seems to be shortly after Jesus’ public life had begun. So for three years, this group of men had heard and seen things but, more than likely, did not really understand what was going on. What kept them together? Curiosity? Wonder? Amazement? Can you imagine the arguments that must have been started within the marriages of those Apostles that were married? It probably sounded something like

Wife: Where are you going now?
Apostle: Me and the guys are going with this Jesus fellow.
Wife: Again? You’ve been wandering all over this countryside with him.
Apostle: Don’t start on that again. He is different, somehow.
Wife: Different? Is he going to put food on our table?
Apostle: No, he just says things that I feel inside me. I can’t explain it.
Wife: Mark my words. No good is gonna come from this. Just mark my words.

And still, they stayed with Him, listened to Him, thought about what His words meant, and how they applied to them. What happened after those three years? What changed them? The best comparison we have in the terminology of today is when someone says a light bulb went on. OR RATHER…….
Jesus told them that, only if He went to the Father, could He send them the Holy Spirit. Picture that first Pentecost. There they were, leaderless, afraid. They probably spent those days together praying, recounting the things that Jesus had said, and remembering the things that He had done. (Very much like our modern day retreats.) Maybe one, maybe it was Peter, or John, maybe all together, but at some point things began to make sense to them. Things started to add up. The more they thought, and talked, the more they realized the significance of Jesus’ actions, His words.

Can you imagine that first Baptism of the Holy Spirit? They were probably crying with joy, fascinated with the goodness that had been part of them, and that was, now, in them. Joy, relief, understanding it came upon them in waves. They understood. They were fearful, no more. They may have been poor in the eyes of the world. They may have been considered ignorant, illiterate men. But, they possessed the most beautiful gift of all. The Holy Spirit had enlightened them, had given them wisdom beyond all comprehension. Their hearts were filled with compassion.

Though it appears that it happened all at once, these men had been growing and learning beside the greatest Teacher ever known. But, the Apostles, who at times, floundered in their disbelief, who struggled to understand, who argued who would be first in the kingdom of Jesus, they had been reduced to shells of men because of the weight of all their anxieties. The goodness was there, had been nurtured by Christ, carefully shaping these men. It was there, but now, without Christ, they had allowed these things to overcome them, to cloud their vision. And then came their Pentecost.

It can happen like that to us, as well. Our minds and nerves are overwhelmed with problems. Some are of our own making, and some are not. Our daily planners look more like children’s scribble we have crossed out and entered so many things. We say things like there isn’t enough time in the day, and don’t know where to turn next. We are confused, bewildered, stressed, anxious and many times even depressed. The more we twist and turn to extricate ourselves, the deeper we seem to sink in this quicksand of activity.

This helter skelter life may actually be telling us, warning us that we are distancing ourselves from Christ. We have so much to do, we cry out, “WHO HAS TIME FOR PRAYER!!!” We flee the very thing our heart is craving, peace. It is time for us to begin the journey back. It may be shorter than we think. It is time to reacquaint ourselves with Jesus. It begins by reading about Him, getting to know Him again, talking to Him in meaningful conversations, listening intensely to hear His words in our heart. If we do these things, we cannot help but to love Him. Because we will realize that all He said and did, was for us, for me. His words, His love will prepare us for our Pentecost.

-1 John 2: 3
-2 John 2: 13-15
-3 John 2: 18-20

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