Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 24,1-9

Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some of the elders and an advocate named Tertullus, and they laid information against Paul before the governor. Paul was called, and Tertullus opened for the prosecution, 'Your Excellency, Felix, the unbroken peace we enjoy and the reforms this nation owes to your foresight are matters we accept, always and everywhere, with all gratitude. I do not want to take up too much of your time, but I urge you in your graciousness to give us a brief hearing. We have found this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect. He has even attempted to profane the Temple. We placed him under arrest. 'I know that you have administered justice over this nation for many years, and I can therefore speak with confidence in my defence. If you ask him you can find out for yourself the truth of all our accusations against this man.' The Jews supported him, asserting that these were the facts.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In Caesarea, Paul is once again judged before the Roman governor, Felix. The prosecutors, led by the high priest Ananias, appear with the defendant. The environment in Caesarea is not hostile towards Paul as is it was in Jerusalem. The story of the hearing reveals a rather calm atmosphere: a peaceful court appearance, adjournment of the debates, time for reflections, private discussions, courtesy visits, and even encounters with the elite of the city. Paul will stay two years in this environment, though obviously in prison. The Roman authorities seem not to be in a hurry; time, so they believe, is working to their advantage. On the other hand, it was clear that the judges wanted to get rid of him. The Roman governor realizes that Paul is a victim of Jewish fanaticism. Paul, in fact, was accused of being the “ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” and “a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews.” This is the political accusation. This accusation, proclaimed by a certain Tertullius, had as its basis the fact that Paul had profaned against the Temple. Once again, as had happened in Jesus’ story, the crowd speaks out against Paul. And yet, the apostle receives consolation from the Lord who sustains and encourages him. The Lord never abandons whoever believes in Him.