Saint Peter's transformation is astounding. He goes from denying Christ during the Passion in the courtyard of the Sanhedrin to proclaiming Christ without fear in that same locale after Pentecost. That boldness is seen in our first reading from Acts of the Apostles.
Peter and the apostles had been warned not to preach in Jerusalem. They saw what the Jewish leaders did to Jesus when Jesus did the same thing--they had him crucified. But Peter is a different man now. He does not back down, even when threatened. "We must obey God rather than men," he says.
The worst nightmare for Caiaphas (the High Priest) and the Sanhedrin has come true. Jesus of Nazareth and the movement has not wilted away, as they thought it would when they crucified the upstart. If anything, the Christian movement has gained strength. Led by Peter, eleven men, not just one, are now going around Jerusalem, healing, teaching, and preaching a new way of life. It is only a matter of time before Caiaphas' noxious grip on Jerusalem and the Jewish faith will be loosened. Caiaphas is replaced as High Priest, the organization of the Sanhedrin and the management of the Temple deteriorates, and radical Jewish revolutionaries begin acting more prominently. This will lead to Rome's definitive intervention in Judaism. The temple is forever destroyed a generation later.
It's fascinating to see the correlation of ancient Judaism's decline and Christianity's rise. Christianity goes from a ragtag group of fishermen leading a disorganized slew of commoners across the countryside to an established and influential movement. Ancient Judaism experiences the reverse. The coordinated structure of Levitical priests and rabbis, with the intricate system of Temple customs and laws, all goes to nothing.
How did this happen? Well, firstly, the grace of God. This was the work of the Holy Spirit building the church, the New Covenant.
It also happens because of Peter, completely trusting in God, goes out and proclaims the Good News. Preaching is key.
I know Catholicism stands 2,000 years later as an established, organized religion. We could resemble Caiaphas and the bureaucratic Sanhedrin. We could...that is, if we don't go back to basics and focus, firstly, on preaching Christ.
Today, Sunday May 5th at 3:30pm in the church I will give a little presentation on the Consecration to Mary. It's not too late to start the Marian Consecration for the month of May. You can follow the 33 Days to Morning Glory booklet, the version by St. Louis de Montfort, or the booklet I produced, In the Shade of Holiness that we printed out. Please see me if you would like one of the booklets or more information. My Tuesday Theology Talks resume this May 7th at 7pm in the chapel. I will be giving another presentation on Mary.
School Board will meet this Monday, May 6th at 7pm. We are still accepting applications for positions on the board for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Our school's May Crowning is this Tuesday at 2pm in the church. RE has its closing Mass on Wednesday at 7pm. Congratulations Patty Collins and catechists for another great year.
Some very exciting news...on Saturday, May 11th, Seminarian Hank Lyon will be ordained a deacon at Holy Name Cathedral! As you know, Hank has been a seminarian assigned to our parish for the last three years. All seminarians are ordained 'transitional deacons' at the end of their third year of theology. Hank will be a deacon for a year, before becoming a priest next May 2020. This is a big week for Hank, so please keep him in your prayers. Congratulations, Hank! We are very proud of you and look forward to seeing you serve on the altar and hearing you preach.
Yours in Christ,