Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6)
Projection is the psychological phenomenon by which a person hides from himself an inner evil by projecting it on another. There he can condemn the evil without feeling any guilt. So it happens that people often see and hate in others what is most repellant about themselves. In today’s first reading Paul enables the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia see their own sins by telling them of the crime of their coreligionists in Jerusalem.
Paul says that the Jerusalemites condemned Jesus as a false prophet and had Pilate crucify him. But, Paul concludes, God confirmed the truth of Jesus’ message and, indeed, his whole life by raising him from the dead. Now, he will go on to say, his hearers may have their own sins -- which by association are the same as those of Jerusalem Jews – forgiven by accepting Jesus as God’s Messiah.
We too should find our sins among those of the Jews who had Jesus crucified. Our jealousy and envy is reflected in the Jewish leaders who wanted Jesus out of the way. Our prejudice against others kinds of people finds a parallel in the attitude of the Jerusalem Jews toward the carpenter from Galilee. Our failure to recognize every person as an image of God likewise is seen in the rush to have Jesus executed. We too must repent and believe in Jesus.