domingo, 25 de mayo de 2014

St. Paul at the Areopagus in Athens

In the first reading today, we find St. Paul preaching Christ at the Areopagus in Athens. There are in my opinion two different but complementary claims. The first is that God is found and in the nature and within ourselves: "in Him we live and move and exist." God is immanent, we could say. On the other hand, the second statement, which causes rejection of the Athenians, is that God is also manifested, more explicitly, by men who are constituted as mediators. Specifically, He has now been revealed by "a man", Christ, whom He has justified before the other men when He has risen Him.

Saint Peter, in the second reading, talks about the importance of blessing. The blessing, 'say-good' is attached to 'do-good ' and one's own happiness. He who seeks happiness "Keep his tongue from evil" as the psalm quoted by Saint Peter says. The blessing begets peace. Instead, cursing enters unhappiness or bitterness in oneself. Both the blessing and the curse have a "boomerang effect." The blessing receives blessing. The curse receives cursing. Also the apostle remembers that doing the good involves suffering, which seems contradictory to the above. But the suffering that is accepted by doing good is the way of perfection and therefore of profound happiness.

       Christ compares himself to the vine and we are the branches attached to the vine. This indicates that the true path of perfection and human happiness is found in Christ himself. It’s only possible for a human being to remain in justice if he lives in Christ. "Without me you can do nothing". Only when we are united to Christ we produce the fruits of humanity that others might expect from us. When we are united to Christ and produce good fruits we are also showing to the world that Christ is risen, that he is not an "ordinary man" but the Son of God Incarnate, therefore the "fully man" . And so that St. Paul proclaimed to the Athenians about the Resurrection makes full sense.

Author: Javier Moreno