Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A king and a governor

Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
Today we remember the men and women who lost their lives 12 years ago. I bet we all remember where we were when we heard the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It was truly a painful moment and we still grieve the lives lost. I pray that out of that suffering can grow new compassion for others.

Our reading today brings us Governor Festus talking with King Agrippa. Agrippa was the last king in Herod's dynasty. He ruled with Roman approval, but was Jewish. Like Paul, he bridges two worlds, Jewish and Roman, so he is very interested in what Paul has to say. We'll see how he and Paul get along tomorrow.

God bless,

Acts 25:13-22
13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus. 14Since they were staying there for several days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, ‘There is a man here who was left in prison by Felix. 15When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him and asked for a sentence against him. 16I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met the accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defence against the charge. 17So when they met here, I lost no time, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought.

18When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the crimes that I was expecting. 19Instead they had certain points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20Since I was at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. 21But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his Imperial Majesty, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to the emperor.’ 22Agrippa said to Festus, ‘I would like to hear the man myself.’ ‘Tomorrow’, he said, ‘you will hear him.’

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