by Dave Montrose, Pax Christi Southwest Florida

“Nonviolence does not mean non-action. Nonviolence means we act with love and compassion.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

A little bit of rebellion goes a long way. Just ask the apostles.

In this Sunday’s first reading, the twelve appear before an angry (and nervous) Sanhedrin. The chief priests remind them that they were ordered to stop teaching people this Jesus business:

“Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” – Acts 5:28 (NAB-Lectionary)

Uncowed, Peter advises the clerics of who’s boss:

“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
– Acts 5:29-32 (NAB-Lectionary)

I read this passage from the lectern at the vigil mass this past weekend, and it admittedly gave me some pleasure to take the rebellious tone. As much as we perceive of our faith through the lens of orthodoxy, we often forget that Christians have had to stick it to “the man” a few times to establish and even sustain the Church…

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