Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 17: Year 1
“Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.” (Mark 14: 55 and 56)
I often ask myself who witnessed the arrested Jesus story and told, or wrote it for us to have today? In this case, my question is answered; Peter is sitting within earshot of what is taking place. Too often we focus only on the three denials of Peter. We should pay attention also to the logistics of the Gospel and Peter’s closeness of Jesus’ interrogation.
They held court on our Lord Jesus trying to convict him to death even knowing that to murder another human being was against God’s Law. Let this be a lesson to us to keep God’s Law at the forefront of our conduct. In their shallow testimony , “Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands;” (Mark 14: 57 and 58).
St Paul will later write in his Second Letter to the Church in Corinth, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens:” (2nd Corinthians 5:1). Too often we can’t grasp the deeper meaning of the Gospel of God in Christ Jesus because we are so full of self-serving tendencies.
The not so secret mantra of God is to love each other. This love that we are supposed to have is to extend to those who are like us as well as those who are different. We can disagree without disengaging. It’s not easy at first, but it is absolutely possible, and pleasing to God. We are certainly not called to devise ways to put a person to death because of disagreement. Have we evolved in the last two thousand years? I pray that we have, and continue to become more and more Jesus like.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John