Posted by: livingscripture | May 28, 2009

Seventh Thursday of Easter

From the Word of the Day 

Paul, was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,   so he called out before the Sanhedrin, ‘My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees; I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead’.  When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the group became divided.             (Acts 23, 6-7)     

How should we live this Wordpeter on trial

 Paul was arrested.  The tribunal decides to send him to the Sanhedrin, because it deals with local questions of religion.  There were Sadducees present, the most conservative part of the Jews.  They sat alongside their opponents, the Pharisees, who were very dear to the people because of their piety and a certain openness toward the oral and written traditions of the Law.  Thus Paul finds himself in the middle of two opposing parties.  Far from hiding his Christian faith, he proclaims the resurrection of the dead; he also declares who he is, a Pharisee by birth and a son of Pharisees.  The apostle to the Gentiles lives to the full Jesus’ teaching, ‘Be wise as serpents and simple as doves’.

He is astute in using an old dissent between the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  His simplicity is in proclaiming his faith in the resurrection of the dead, thus sustaining a basic truth.  Christianity is not a new faith that is opposed to the Jewish faith.  Rather, it is the development that brings the latter to the fullness of truth promised by the prophets and revealed in completeness in the person of Christ and His Gospel.

This passage from the Acts of the Apostles calls our attention to this truth which is all too often obscured by hatred throughout history, to the point of perpetrating absurd violence.  We can also observe Paul’s behavior which does not hide his intelligence and wisdom.  He knows humans and how things are.  He disentangles himself from these with a simple heart but with the craft of a serpent.  He is full of the love of Christ and of His truth, which he never dilutes or betrays.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will observe the human-Christian traits of my own personality.  Do I always seek God’s Kingdom and His justice with all the resources I have, in uprightness and purity of heart?

 Lord, grant me a pure heart, an intelligence illumined by a decisive will to want always and only what pleases You in me and around me.

 The voice of Benedetta Bianchi Porro, witness

 I am living simplicity, the spoliation of the soul – our words be yes, yes and no, no- the rest comes from the devil.  It is so beautiful.  One becomes light and free.

 

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