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Acts of the Apostles 22:30, 23:6-11

Since the tribune wanted to know what precise charge the Jews were bringing against Paul, he freed him and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and stood him in front of them.

Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the scribes from the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?” Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress.

Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, “Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.”

John 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

“Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.

I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory
you have given me
because you loved me
before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known
that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them,
and so that I may be in them.”


Two main themes run through these readings - unity and division.

In the first reading, the Pharisees and the Sadducees are actually divided but give the appearance of unity. Paul is not really aligned with either side; he is aligned with the truth, and by speaking the truth, he exposes their division by exposing them to the truth. As witnesses of Christ, we are called to be witnesses to the truth.

I just watched a talk by Christopher West. If you were presented with a real thousand-dollar note and a counterfeit thousand-dollar note, which would you choose? Simple question with a simple answer. But today’s society tries to confuse us by telling us that the fake note is real, and the real note is fake. Counterfeit notes are easily produced, whereas real notes often have to be earned. In today’s society, it is so easy and tempting to just use the fake notes that very often fall into our laps.

But these are not real and when we use the fake notes, one day we are going to get caught. In the world, we get “caught” when we suffer the consequences of using these fake notes. One day we will have to stand in the light and this light is going to burn away from us all that is fake. The more fake notes we use, the more fake we become. We become liars and at times we even believe it to be the truth.

What is the truth then? Jesus Christ is the truth, and the guardian of that truth is the church that he founded. Listen then, to the guardian of the truth and not to the lies that the prince of the world tells us.

Dear Lord, grant us the grace to identify the truth from the counterfeit, and the courage to choose the truth. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: Truth.

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