Peter and the Apostles found themselves at odds with the powers of the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of the Jews. And the indictment? – proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. For sure, a threat to the status quo for many who followed the Apostles to know and accept this new truth. And so, the Apostles were taken into custody; then, hearing the court’s decision, they were given a stern warning to cease and desist their proclamations. Of course, the Apostles paid no attention to the order, so our story continues in today’s first reading. Brought once more before the judges, they continued their resistance; the law they would obey was God’s. Peter says that they must obey God rather than men. Tension mounts. Their defiance could bring a death penalty. Then the story goes on.
A particular Pharisee, a teacher of the law, spoke to his fellow Israelites to let these apostles go; if their mission is of human origin, it will fail, and if from God, they would be fighting against God. And once again, they are set free. The Gospel reading justifies the Apostles’ faith. They believed and lived accordingly. John’s gospel unequivocal message affirms Jesus came from God himself; Jesus proclaims the truths of God the Father, and Jesus’ authority comes from God; finally, the strongest rebuke to those who disobey the Son will have the wrath of God upon them.
Death penalties may not threaten us, but we are ignored, rebuked, and intimidated as subversives to the status quo. The call is written to remain steadfast and committed to living as we believe.
Our faith history blazons that God loves us, forgives, and rebukes us across the ages. Best to pay attention.
LORD, guide me in your justice because of my foes; make straight your way before me.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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