Today’s First Reading: Acts 6:8-15 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER: Monday, 16 April 2018
With the forward stance of Stephen in today’s first reading, we see the emergence of a germinal Church organization. The deacons were originally designated to wait on tables. Yet, very quickly, Stephen is preaching and engaging Jewish leaders in debate. He represents the Greek-speaking wing of the early Jewish Christian Church which was not as awed of Temple and Torah Law as were the more traditional Jewish Christians.
The episode of Stephen’s stoning signals a growing fracture between Church and Synagogue that was not inevitable but was providential. The Jewish leaders refused to go beneath the surface of things to examine more deeply what Stephen said.
Jakarta, 16 April 2018
A Christian Pilgrim