DIVIDED…

Acts 22:30;23:6-11
30 But on the morrow, desiring to know the real reason why the Jews accused him, he unbound him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.
6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
9 Then a great clamor arose; and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”
10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them and bring him into the barracks.11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.”

John 17:20-26 
20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me.
26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

MEDITATION

THE FIRST READING: The Jews in Jerusalem had Paul aressted and brought before a Roman military official in Jerusalmem, with the false accusation that he brought Trophimus a Greek, into the temple. Paul identify himself as a Pharisee, who believed in the ressurection of the dead. With this said, pandemonium ensued because the Sadducees, a Jewish breakaway sect, did not believe in the resurrection of the dead!

The Pharisees sided with Paul which led the Roman tribune to move Paul temporalily to the barracks, to prevent the Sadducees from harming him. The following night Paul received a visit from the ressurected Christ, encouraging him to be strong, because he is called to also bear witness in Rome, the headcourters of Ceasar Augusta.  

THE GOSPEL READING: Our Lord is forward looking when he prays for unity. amongst the twelve apostles, He is also praying for those whom they will evangelize and bring into the Christian fold. It is very apparent that Jesus desired, that because of their love of Him, the Father shall love them so they may be a unified body.

St Paul would later write to the Ephesians setting out the doctrine of the one body of Christ: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,”one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.”

When Fr Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, protested and nailed his 95 -objections against the acclesial and papal abuse of their office, he did not realize that his subsequent response and actions would destroy the unity that our Lord had prayed for. It is said that before Fr Luther died, seventy other splinter groups were born, because they disagreed with his interpretation of the bible, and so internal division and breakups continues untill this day! We Catholics are called to pray for unity and that those who have fallen away will return to the Church that our Lord established upon Peter. Let us also pray for unity beginning with Pope Francis, the Cardinals, bishops, priests and families during these trying times. 

LET US PRAY: 16:1-2,5,7-11
Preserve me, O God, for in thee I take refuge.2 I say to the LORD, “Thou art my Lord; I have no good apart from thee.”
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
10 For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.11 Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days. 

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