Here the Apostles are once again encountering pushback for preaching the Good News about Jesus. But Gamaliel, a Pharisee, stands up and essentially warns them that nothing is going to stop God’s grace, and that they may find themselves fighting against God. How often do we find ourselves fighting God? Yet when we reflect we can see how God’s grace pushes through our stubbornness, reminding us of our need for God.

This reminds me of the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises where Ignatius says that all our sin and pushing back against God has not caused the Saints to stop praying for us nor the earth to open and swallow us up. Despite the imperfections of the early apostles, God used them to spread the Good News far and wide. And as modern day apostles, our imperfect holiness will not impede God’s love and grace from pushing through.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.