Wednesday, May 01, 2019

We must obey God rather than men.

“We gave you strict orders [did we not?] to stop teaching in that name." (Acts 5: 28).

Thursday in the 2nd week of Easter. The Memorial of St Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (297 - 373).St Athanasius defended the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Arian heresy. The heretics, a group not unlike the modern Jehovah Witnesses in their beliefs and arrogance. The Arians at this time had immense political power and they used it effectively to advance their pernicious doctrine. Athanasius the metropolitan Archbishop of Alexandria in Egypt suffered many exiles from Arian administrators but did not compromise the integrity of the Catholic Faith which is once and for all delivered to the saints.

"But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5: 29). The Apostle Peter and his brother Apostles laid down an important principle here. It is better to suffer than to deny the faith. This is a principle that our saint of today followed all his life.

"We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5: 32).

We believe in the infallible word of God. We believe in the Teaching of the Catholic Church. We believe in the concrete experiences God has given us to support our faith. We obey God and therefore we too are witnesses of these things as is the Holy Spirit that God has given us.

"In the midst of the Church [Athanasius] opened his mouth,
and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory, alleluia. (Cf Sirach 15: 5)

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