Today is Thursday the 15 April, in the Second Week of Easter.
The Convivium Singers sing Margaret Rizza’s setting of the Benedictus, the Song of Simeon: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets from of old.
Today’s reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
The apostles were brought to stand before the council, and the high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
‘We must obey God, rather than any human authority.’ How do you react when you hear this phrase? What things come to mind? What feelings does it give rise to in you?
‘We must obey God rather than any human authority.’ How would that work out in practice, in life – in your life?
The apostles speak of God’s goodness to Israel, even when the chosen people had been stupid and blind, even indeed when it had rejected and crucified Jesus. God knows our needs, and our culture’s needs, better than we know them ourselves. As you listen to this passage again, think about what God might be trying to say to the society we live in today.
Spend some time now in prayer, perhaps asking how the Holy Spirit—whose help we are promised in this passage—might be trying to transform you.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.