Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6) John Hick was a theologian to ponder but not to follow. With well thought out criticisms of dogma he challenged orthodox Christian thinkers to sharpen their arguments. One of his contentions is that the Bible is written in the language of lovers so that where it claims that Jesus is the way to salvation, one should hear something like a young man saying to his sweetheart, “I cannot live without you.” The first reading today, however, seems to reject such romanticism. Paul does not mince words as he stands up in the synagogue of Antioch Pisidia to tell the Jews that their leaders put Jesus to death. Nothing short of being completely convinced that Jesus is the only savior could have moved him to such bold speech. Behind his conviction, of course, is the singular event of Jesus being raised to eternal life. Since Paul witnessed the resurrected Jesus, he cannot but speak directly to it. We may wonder if we should not be open to new revelations as the apostles expected the people of their time to accept Jesus. We may ask ourselves, “Isn’t God constantly speaking to His people?” Yes, God is giving private revelations, but it is just commentary on the definitive word revealed in the extraordinary man Jesus. He loved, spoke, and acted perfectly. There will never be anyone as worthy to follow.