Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 5:27-33, Psalm 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20, & John 3:31-36
Many years ago, my wife and I would visit her aunt, who was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. I enjoyed being with Sister Mary, especially to watch Notre Dame Football games. One of my fondest memories was a poster posted near the front door of her convent, which read, "To all our visitors, there are only two rules in this house: There is a God, and you are not Him." The years have passed, and Sister Mary did not witness my ordination to the sacrament of Holy Orders. However, I reflect on the message which hung in the Sisters' home in Baltimore before speaking in public or delivering a homily at Holy Mass.
Today's Gospel narrative presents to us that Jesus, and only Jesus, is the Savior coming from the Father. He talks and testifies and has the authority about heavenly things based on what He had seen, heard, accomplished, and witnessed.
Our faith teaches us to obey all legitimate civil authority. However, if the authority goes against the law of God, if it promotes evil and injustice, graft and corruption, then it ceases to be legitimate. It may sometimes be necessary for a Christian to defy authority to be faithful to her or his conscience. Many of the martyrs did this, and it is what every Catholic Christian should be ready to do.
Today's readings make it clear which we should obey. The very last sentence in today's Gospel narrative of Saint John is, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him." In other words, Jesus is talking to us about obedience to God by which Saint Peter testified in our first reading. Peter says, "We must obey God rather than men." I am quite confident Sister Mary would heartily agree.
Question of the Day: Will you obey all things that concern God and not man?
Prayer: "Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, alleluia. (Mt 28:20)