16 April 2009 Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 3, 11-26 Being Held Accountable
We get to hear of a speech in the first reading today. The speech does not condemn those who have rejected Christ such as the Jews, but offers them a chance to repent. Acts 3, 17 makes a distinction between those who have rejected Jesus before and during his lifetime, and those who reject Christ after His resurrection. The speech says that those who lived before Jesus were in an age of ignorance (17, 30 and 13, 27). But those who lived after the Resurrection do not have an excuse because we already know who Jesus is, and what He taught. Acts teaches what was taught in Deuteronomy (18,19) that ‘whoever does not listen to My words which he speaks in my name will be cut off from his people.’
In our lives, we find ourselves more accountable. Many of us have been educated in the faith. We have a common knowledge within our faith traditions the true identity of Jesus and his teachings. We also have guidelines and further reflections of the content of faith. In other words, the person who has a greater knowledge of the faith is more culpable than those who are ignorant.
There are ways when we are alienated or ‘cut off’ from the family of Christians. First, we can be ‘cut off’ when we are ‘ignorant’ of our faith; when we, who have the capacity to learn the whys of our faith, do not bother or is not interested in furthering knowledge. Remember, loving another consists in the knowledge of the beloved. Or else, you are just in love with the idea of being in love or our unverified impression of the other. Same thing with faith. Second, we can be ‘cut off’ when, having a substantial amount of the content of our faith, we refuse or do not bother to live it. There is a writer who said that Christianity has been tried and has never been found wanting. Difficult, but never tried in real life.