Since he wanted to find out what Paul was being accused of by the Jews, the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire council to meet. He brought Paul down and had him stand before them.
While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, ‘Brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.’ Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. At this Paul said to him, ‘God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?’ Those standing nearby said, ‘Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?’ And Paul said, ‘I did not realize, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written, “You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.” ’
When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.’ When he said this, a dissension began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge all three.) Then a great clamor arose, and certain scribes of the Pharisees’ group stood up and contended, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’ When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.
That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.’ (Acts 22:30-23:11).
Paul proclaims the Good News in Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Christ himself tells Paul to keep up his courage. You and I must do the same; we must keep up our courage as we spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we meet.
Let us pray: Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Paul and all of his companions to be a light in the world; shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Blessing of the animals for St. Francis on Saturday, 13 October at 11:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of the cross.
The Adult Christian Education series on the Lord’s Prayer continues this Sunday. Please join the Bains for this wonderful study.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially all of those who are ill, including Patricia.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550