Posted by: livingscripture | April 16, 2015

Second Thursday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

“Peter and the Apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him’  When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.”        (Acts 5: 29-33)                                                                  Peter & Sanhedrin

How should we live this Word

 “We must obey God rather than men.”  These words taken from the Acts of the Apostles have never been as timely as they are today.  This is how a totally new Peter responds to the High Priest, president of the Sanhedrin.  After the Resurrection, he courageously, in the name of all the Apostles, proclaims the fundamental principle of freedom of the faith and of the Christian’s coherence of life.  We must obey God even at the cost of appearing unpopular before the current mentality.  Unfortunately today, many Christians either out of human respect or to avoid being despised and marginalized, prefer to adapt themselves to the world around them and to the banality of ‘everyone is doing it’, and thus take on the same tone of their surroundings.  An ancient Christian Oriental writer already spoke of the Christians of his time with biting words, as quoted below.

To obey God means, above all, to make courageous choices that cost, not only on big occasions, but also in daily life, in small gestures lived each day.  Our world today needs true witnesses more than teachers; those who know how to communicate the Gospel through their coherent witness of a life conformed to the Gospel, even going against the current when this is necessary.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask myself: if I were put on trial for being a Christian, would I be found guilty because my life reflects my Christianity?

Lord, make me a humble and courageous witness of Your Gospel even when it demands that I overcome my timidity and my fear that tend to lead me to hide my clear identity as a Christian.

The Voice of St. Clement of Alexandria, Ancient Oriental Writer

Those initiated into Christ must behave and show themselves with their whole life as when they are in Church, where they take on a more venerable demeanor.  Instead, I don’t know how, but they change their face and ways like the polyps that become like the reef they inhabit and their skin takes on its color.  As soon as they leave the Church, they put aside their Religion and become like the people they deal with.  In addition, putting aside their fake and hypocritical seriousness, they show their hidden personality.  After having listened with veneration to the Word of God, they leave it where they heard it, and go out with the atheists.

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