12.04.2024 — Signs of Credibility

Posted under Reflections on April 12th, 2024 by

2nd week in Easter, Friday – 12th April 2024 – Acts 5,34-42; John 6, 1-15

Signs of Credibility

The first reading presents the wisdom of Gamaliel that favours the apostles. If something is not of God, its importance will end someday. If it is truly of God, then there is nothing which can stop it. He warned his fellow council members not to be too hasty in their judgements. He gave two examples of leaders – Theudas and Judas the Galilean. In both cases the leaders died or were killed and then their movements fell apart and their followers scattered. Gamaliel suggested the above principle, on the basis of these experiences, that this ‘Jesus’ movement should be left alone. Gamaliel gives the positive corollary. Most men in the Sanhedrin would never admit that Jesus could be on God’s side. Instead, they can posture as if taking the high ground, letting God handle things (Acts 5,13).  Proverb says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Prov 19,21). Gamaliel accurately applies this to the Sanhedrin’s situation. Obviously, the Church has striven to carry on the ministry of Jesus until now with pointers of faith in Jesus and his saving work. Two thousand years later, the growth and holiness, the fruitfulness, the catholic unity and stability continue to be signs and motives of credibility. Like Gamaliel, we should have confidence in his principle that, in the long run, the truth will always prevail.

11.04.2024 — Authentic Teaching

Posted under Reflections on April 11th, 2024 by

2nd week in Easter Time, Thursday – 11th April 2024 – Acts 5,27-33; Jn 3,31-36

Authentic Teaching

The first reading shows how, like Jesus, the Apostles were re-arrested and put on trial before the 71-member Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews. They are innocent, like Jesus, and yet are flogged (Acts 5,40) just as Jesus was scourged. Jesus’ command to preach the gospel (Acts 1,8) overrules the Sanhedrin’s command to keep quiet about it. This conformity to the life and mission of Jesus argues in favour of the authenticity of the apostles teaching.  They were accused of two things: 1) They had continued to preach in “this name” even though they had been strictly forbidden. The accusers made sure not to mention the name of Jesus and so referred to “this name”. 2) They were blaming the Jewish leadership for Jesus’ death. Their motives were a mixture of religious narrow-mindedness and political self-interest. However, the apostles were least fazed by these accusations. In the midst of persecutions, they believed and proclaimed that Jesus was now in glory as ‘Ruler and Saviour’. This title corresponds to Jesus as ‘Prince and Redeemer’, which applies to Moses, a prefigure of Christ. This implicit comparison of Jesus with Moses, would have brought hatred to the judges. But the apostles were witnesses to all that they were saying. They could not say or do otherwise, no matter what others might tell them. Because their testimony was directed and confirmed by the Holy Spirit that strengthened them. They were also confident that they were following in the footsteps of their leader and Saviour and were on the path to life.

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