I remember once picking up a magazine to read when I was in a waiting room. It had an article or feature about the sea and all of the creatures that can be found in it. I discovered that the favourite food of the starfish is the oyster. It’s well protected by a strong shell that is hard to open. However, the way the starfish works to get at the oyster provides us with a lesson that’s worth learning.
Apparently, when it finds a suitable oyster, the starfish attaches one of its feet to the top of the shell and another to the bottom or the underside. Slowly it begins to try and open the shell. The oyster however is very aware of the pressure and it uses its own hinge muscle to stay closed. The starfish is undeterred and keeps applying gentle pressure for as long as it takes. The oyster eventually gets tired and the starfish gets its dinner.
Today, just before he ascends to heaven, Jesus tells the apostles to ‘Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high’. Part of the power that the Apostles received from the Holy Spirit was perseverance. Their task was never going to be simple, and needed lots of patience, courage and faith. But the power of the spirit is immeasurable and God’s love pouring out into our world cannot be stopped. That is why the victory of good over evil is being achieved and was achieved by Jesus through his death and resurrection – and continues to be won through the power at work in the world today.