Posted by: livingscripture | May 29, 2009

Seventh Friday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in.  His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.  Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive.             (Acts 25, 17-19)  

 How should we live this Word

 Paul’s life is marked by vicissitudes that are anything but light.  Arrested, he ends up in Cesar’s jail.  While he is there, the Roman governor is replaced by another, a certain Festus who intends to clarify Paul’s identity. When King Agrippa, a Hebrew by birth, comes to visit him, he seizes this opportunity.  He explains the case to him.  According to Festus, it deals with petty issues of a religious nature but for Paul, it deals with one important issue, ‘A certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive.’  This is the real protagonist of the passage.  What amazes Festus, who recognizes the absolute innocence of Paul in respect to the criminal accusations brought against him, is the terseness of Paul’s account.  There are no rhetorical flourishes to embellish the central fact that speaks of a certain Jesus who died but of whom Paul forcefully gives vital testimony.  He is a witness of the risen Christ, a witness who is ready to put his life on the line for this faith.Paul 1

 The thread of this meditation goes toward this strong and ever actual nucleus, ‘If Christ had not risen, vain would be our faith’.  It is to this reality that Paul continually gives witness, when in the jail of Caesar or that of Rome where he is decapitated.  Paul never ceases to witness to his faith.  In this stability and coherence lies my faith in Jesus who died and rose for my salvation and that of all people.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will call to mind these realities and I will draw strength from them.

 Lord Jesus, never allow me to forget or cloud the figure of Paul and all Your other witnesses.  Grant that I may witness to You here where I live and work.

 The voice of Maurice Zundel, Theologian

 Books, documents, reasoning are never able to convince and convert.  What is needed is the light of a life, the radiance of a face, the beating of a heart.  This is the gift of a whole life.


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