Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 5,34-42

One member of the Sanhedrin, however, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a teacher of the Law respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the men taken outside for a time.

Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, 'Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people.

Some time ago there arose Theudas. He claimed to be someone important, and collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them.

And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he was killed too, and all his followers dispersed.

What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord;

but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. Take care not to find yourselves fighting against God.' His advice was accepted;

and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.

And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name.

Every day they went on ceaselessly teaching and proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus, both in the temple and in private houses.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Gamaliel, a Pharisee man who was respected on all sides, saw the injustice that was being perpetrated against the apostles, and he arose to defend them before the whole Sanhedrin. His speech is wise and full of religious understanding. God guides the unfolding of history, and it is not a good idea to go against Him. Gamaliel is not acting on shrewdness or calculation, still less envy. In speaking on that occasion, he is moved by a religious vision. With great wisdom he sketches a brief story of people who have been considered "exalted:" he spoke of a certain Theudas and Judas the Galilean who had been killed and their followers had been dispersed. But Gamaliel also warned the Sanhedrin to act wisely on face of this new group that had appeared in the city: "If this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!" The Sanhedrin accepted Gamaliel’s advice and let the apostles go but only after having them flogged and ordering them not to speak of Jesus. It is the same thing that Pilate had done to Jesus when he said, "I will therefore have him flogged and release him."(Lk 23:16) But how could they be silent and keep the Gospel to themselves? At the end of the first part of the story, the author of Acts notes that they not only talked about Jesus in the temple but also in people’s homes. And they continued to do so because they saw that needy people welcomed what they were saying with joy: the Gospel made people happy and gave comfort and hope to all those who needs and seeks it.