This courtroom scene where St Paul is brought before the Jewish court has always brought a smile to my face. Paul is a very well-educated man. Bible scholars have pointed out that in the Jewish tradition there were at least seventeen factions. We know the more common of these as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and a few others.
The Sadducees were in control of the courts during the time of Jesus and Paul. It was their belief that there was no life after death nor were there such beings as angels. Paul would have known their teaching. And Paul has a clever way of causing trouble. He claims the teaching of the Pharisees which causes an immediate argument. This is a division of their faith that generates anger between the groups that in their arguing they forget about Paul. He is returned to prison. We witness the futility of human beings that would rather live in anger and hostility toward each other.
The gospel is completely focused on love. Jesus, knowing how much God loves human beings, loves us in the same way. So much that He is about to sacrifice Himself for our sake. There is no anger in His prayer. Rather through the love between God and Son, they glorify themselves.
Jesus looks upon all that God has given Him as a gift that is to be given back to God. Those who turn to Jesus and trust in Him are then glorified in God. We who are baptized in Christ will suffer with Him, but we will also be raised with Him. No one is lost, all are brought to God through Christ.
We are in that time between Ascension and Pentecost waiting for the Advocate. Have you ever used the Holy Spirit Prayer? I offer it to you today. It is a great prayer to keep with you everyday.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen