Easter: Wednesday of the Fifth Week

“Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”” (Acts of the Apostles 15:1)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Observe what he alleges as a proof of his statement: “Christians at first were few in number and held the same opinions, but when they grew to be a great multitude, they were divided and separated, each wishing to have his own individual party. This was their object from the beginning.” That Christians at first were few in number, in comparison with the multitudes who subsequently became Christian, is no doubt true. He also says that “all the Christians were of one mind,” not noticing, even in this particular, that from the beginning there were differences of opinion among believers regarding the meaning of the books held to be divine. At all events, while the apostles were still preaching and eyewitnesses of Jesus were still teaching his doctrine, there was no small discussion among the converts from Judaism regarding Gentile believers and whether they ought to observe Jewish customs or reject the burden of clean and unclean meats as not being obligatory on those who had abandoned their ancestral Gentile customs and had become believers in Jesus.” (Against Celsus, 3)

O God,
restorer and lover of innocence,
direct the hearts of your servants
towards Yourself,
that those you have set free
from the darkness of unbelief
may never stray from the light of Your truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen. Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen