Oh the irony of it! In today's first reading, the high priest tells the Apostles, “We gave you strict orders did we not, to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this Man's blood upon us.”
But the Apostles don't have to bring Jesus' blood upon the high priest and the other Jewish leaders, for they have already brought it upon themselves. They were the ones who cried out before Pilate, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” How quick the high priest was to forget that, to forget that he had led the crowd in calling for Jesus' crucifixion, to forget that he had sent an innocent Man (and so much more than a man) to His death.
Talk about irony.
Friday – Whom Should I Fear?
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” Our culture is permeated with fears of all kinds: fears of terrorist attacks and natural disasters, fears of financial collapse and governmental chaos, fears of sickness and death, fears of being young and growing old, fears of the multitude of sufferings that can befall fragile, weak human beings.
But if God is truly our light and our salvation, we need not fear any of these things. God is in control. He can bring good out of what seem like the worst possible circumstances. He may allow us to suffer, but it is only for our own good, that we may learn a lesson or be purified or help someone else along the way. Our sufferings always have meaning when we join them to Jesus' and allow Him to use them as He wills.
So what have we to fear then? Only that which could separate us from God, only sin. All the rest is in God's loving hands.
Saturday – Obedient to the Faith
We hear in today's first reading that a great many people were hearing and accepting the Gospel in the early days of the Church. Even many Jewish priests were, along with others, becoming “obedient to the faith.”
The word “obedient” is key here. In Greek, it is hupakouō, and it literally means “under hearing.” People who are obedient hear something from another who is in authority and place themselves under that hearing. They submit to someone else and choose to follow humbly rather than lead selfishly. They do not allow the words to wash over them but rather to enter deeply into their minds and transform into action.
All Christians are called to be obedient to the faith, to hear the words of Sacred Scripture, to listen attentively to Sacred Tradition, to receive the teaching of the Church's Magisterium, and then to act on what they have heard and accepted.
Lord, give us the obedience of faith that we need in order to hear and understand Your will for us and to live it in love. Amen.
(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from http://www.biblehub.com/.)