Readings for Friday May 6, 2011
First Reading: Acts 5:34-42
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27
Gospel: John 6:1-15
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men. Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing. After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:34-39)
Today's first reading reminds me of something that I once heard a priest say when speaking about the history of the Catholic Church. He said, "when God's grace is behind something, it cannot be stopped." These words are so true of our Church. Gamaliel was a very wise Pharisee who knew this, and that is why he advised the others not to put the apostles to death. Today we can see that the early church is certainly not of human origin, but rather it is from God. If the Catholic Church was of human origin, it would have disbanded many years ago. But the truth is that the one true Church established by Christ stands strong today, despite thousands of years of opposition, scandal, slander, and plots to destroy the Church; and yet it still stands. When God's grace is behind something it cannot be stopped.
Let us remember that we are Christians, and we are not called to a life of comfort and ease. Sometimes we shy away from doing things because they might be hard or seem impossible, but we must always remember that when God's grace is behind something, it cannot be stopped! Let us always trust in our Lord who is more powerful than anything!
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord thank you for all that you have blessed us with and for all that you give us. Lord, thank you for this faith, thank you for the Pope, may you continue to guide and lead Him, especially in his time of need. Lord, we pray that your truth will come out and that those who have been persecuting you and your Church may repent and come to know your love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.