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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Do We Obey?

I love the stories out of the Acts of the Apostles! The daily readings lately from the first few chapters are filled with the inspiring courage and boldness of the Apostles. Today they are standing before the Sanhedrin, who had brought them in for disobeying their order to “stop teaching in that name.” To this “Peter and the apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:29)

This is a challenge today for us to question if our allegiance is to God or men. Though we often would not say it out loud, sometimes we give our allegiance first to nation or to a political party and when those things come up against the Gospel, it is our faithful adherence to the Gospel that gets compromised. Or we may convince ourselves (as many would like us to believe) that our nation or political affiliation is really God's, thus we are good Christians when we listen to and follow God’s favored politicians.

We may also pledge our allegiance to cultural norms, conforming ourselves this age by trying to be what society tells us we should be, rather than who God tells us we are in Christ. We might sometimes strive for success and esteem rather than holiness and faithfulness to the call. In all these things, we must be careful to always obey God rather than men.

I love the way that the Apostles are not intimated by those in power. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of Love has cast out fear. They are not concerned with the ways of the world or the threats that come from it. Rather, because of their hope in Christ they have overcome it, recalling Jesus’ words: “In the world you will have trouble but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (Jn 16:33) May we have the same boldness and uncompromising faithfulness to the Gospel. May we always echo with the apostles “We must obey God rather than men”

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