Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Are We

And when Cephas came to Antioch,
I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
For, until some people came from James,
he used to eat with the Gentiles;
but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself,
because he was afraid of the circumcised.
And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
with the result that even Barnabas
was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not on the right road
in line with the truth of the Gospel,
I said to Cephas in front of all,
"If you, though a Jew,
are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew,
how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

Galatians 2:11-14

Reflection:
It seems Paul had to correct Peter at the beginning of the early years of the church. It wouldn't have been a good thing to continue in the way of hypocrisy. And this is not one of those times when we should imitate. Or follow the saying do as I say not as I do. Paul in his revelation, needed to step in and fix a broken part of the body.

We read of how Peter ate with a certain group of people, only to act when others were around that he shouldn't have. How truly wrong that is. I've seen this happen even in our day, when an influencial person ate with a lower class, only to act as if they shouldn't have. True hypocrisy. Something Jesus teaches us is wrong to do. He teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

It is a shame that this happened in the early years of the church. It is sad that the one who was entrusted the keys to the kingdom could do such a thing. But this is how God teaches and mends our errors too. We are shown that through others we are corrected of our faults. We are taught to follow the right way, just as Paul corrected Peter of his error. No one is perfect, we sin, we cause errors in others too. It is through God's will and guiding spirit that we follow the way of the Lord. We all know this ourselves, yet when we too do as they speak of today and commit hypocrisy because we fear being caught slumming so to speak, then shame on us big time.

9 comments:

Brother Lesser said...

How marvelous that in God's plan, He allowed this to happen so that Paul could castigate Peter for it. Had it not recorded, perhaps it would have become the norm even in our churches today.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Of course, it must be remembered that Peter was not teaching error. No Pope has ever done so. Nevertheless, Peter's actions were giving rise to scandal and Paul was right to correct this abberation.

Fraternal correction is a sign of love. It was the great St. Augustine who said, "interficere errorem, diligere errantem." Kill the error, love the one who errs.

This is not contrary to love. An authentic love must be based upon truth. The truth about Catholic teaching as well as the truth about ourselves.

It is a counterfeit love which negates this and refuses to correct a brother (or sister) who is in error or whose actions may be questionable.

God love you,
Paul

Marie Cecile said...

How true Brother Lesser, but I think the church would have disappeared if Paul wasn't there to correct a few things.


And your right too Paul, it wasn't in teaching that Peter had a problem with it was his actions. They spoke loudly and needed a hand to be fixed. I wonder then if that isn't why a few Saints like Catherine were sent to correct a flaw in the ensuing years.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I thank God for St. Catherine of Sienna. And yes, I believe that Jesus gave her to the Church as a gift for her time. I actually wrote a post entitled, "St. Catherine and the Dialogue."

I would have enjoyed being her spiritual pupil and learning from a woman of tremendous wisdom and insight. Perhaps then my paucity of intellect would not be so glaring.

Marie Cecile said...

You glaring, never! Thanks for letting me know you wrote about this special Saint.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Ah but I am so very deficient. But that is alright. His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made manifest in my weakness, for when I am weak it is then that I am strong.

If God could use a jackass to restrain the prophet Balaam in his madness, perhaps He will condescend to use another - myself - to restrain the madness of our present epoch?

Marie Cecile said...

Paul, how true your comment about when I am weak it then that I am strong. We are!

Forgive me Paul but the second paragraph I wanted to laugh, because it reminded me of a Priest who used the word "Jackass" to describe himself too, but for something altogether different. It was part of his Christmas concert to get the audience to participate in singing a song with animal sounds. I'm chuckling right now, forgive me for this little bit of fun.

What present epoch do you seek to restrain from madness?

Marie Cecile said...

I hope I didn't offend you Paul on what I relayed, because it had nothing to do with what you wrote. Forgive me if I have

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Dear Marie Cecile,

I am not offended. Like St. Francis, I refer to myself as Brother Ass.

Pax Christi,
Paul