When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But 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.
REFLECTION: But Peter and the Apostles said in reply, "We must obey God rather than men."
What a difference the Holy Spirit makes. There were many conversions and baptisms. And though the High Priest told them to stop what they were doing, the apostles reminded the council that obedience to God comes first. How many times are we frustrated when the politicians say they are Catholic but refuse to obey God. From pro choice politicians to gay activists, from politicians who promote and celebrate infanticide. Venezuela has allowed its people to starve. Many Catholic universities have left the faith behind so that the university can grow and compete with non sectarian schools. The State (law) is not the source of good and evil but many use this as the reason for doing bad things. We all have the obligation to stand up when activities or decisions go against God's law. We should never cease from doing good and expecting good to happen. Faith cannot be left aside, evil must be resisted.
On a personal note, do we find time to be with God? Have we shifted our lives to fully center around God? Imagine the many blessings God wants to offer us if we just give Him time. Last week in one of the reflections, the family made it a point to not miss Sunday Mass in spite of being in a tournament. Do we pay attention to that which is in front of us and put out the effort to do what is morally correct? Do we put aside our prayer life and watch television? Do we find excuses why we did not go to Sunday Mass? Are we allowing laziness, pride, lukewarmness and indifference to prevent us from getting to know God better? If we don't make God our number one priority we will suffer the consequences.
"You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)
May our priests not hesitate to do that which is right--speak up against abortion, speak up against homosexuality, and stress the need for following the commandments and going to confession.