Thursday 20 April 2023
Acts 5:27-33. The Lord hears the cry of the poor – Psalm 33(34):2, 9, 17-20. John 3:31-36.
Confrontation between Christian community and Sanhedrin
Today’s first reading is a rebuke of those who would assert the antisemitic heresy of Jewish blood guilt as well as those who would accuse the sacred authors of doing so. In this passage we glimpse the confrontation between the nascent Christian community and the Sanhedrin. Both those who stand with Peter and those who are deliberating against them are Jewish. As such, when Peter declares that it was ‘you’ who had Jesus executed, it is impossible for him to mean the Jewish people. What marks Peter and his community out is not blood but precisely their experiences of and beliefs about the man they hold out as the saviour of Israel. That we Christians have throughout the centuries harboured those who twisted these words against our Lord’s own people is an unspeakable tragedy. May we be vigilant against the stain of antisemitism, and continue to repent of it.