Seeking A Higher Truth
5/26/2022: Thursday Gospel Reflection
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, "We should like to hear you on this some other time." And so, Paul left them. But some did join him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. (Acts 17:32-34)
As we reflect on today's Gospel reading, we see Paul spreading the word of Christ to the Athenians. The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers both come from Athens, and indeed there is certain wisdom and virtues within those philosophies. Seneca once said, "I'll never be ashamed to quote a bad writer with a good saying." This quote was Seneca's response to finding some truth in Epicurus, so it is not surprising that some of the groups in Athens would be willing to hear what Paul had to proclaim. "We should like to hear you on this some other time." (Acts 17:32) Paul spoke of Jesus the Messiah, but the resurrection topic in today's Gospel was quite a challenge for many as some thought he was also talking about a goddess named Anastasis. Paul is, of course, the greatest of apologists here and corrects any confusion to those who choose to listen.
I believe this reading shows that man's search for God is a natural human endeavor. Of course, it might be a little easier for many of us today to accept the resurrection of the dead since Christianity is woven within our culture. But the resurrection was and still is a challenging theological topic for many, and we must pray for those who still have not chosen to become believers of Christ. With a faithful and sincere heart, the Holy Spirit can step into our lives, allowing us to ascend to a more significant and profound truth.
In today's second Gospel reading, we can also reflect on the powerful words found in the Gospel of John.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. (Jn 16:13-15)
Today, take the time to ask the Holy Spirit to intercede in your heart and mind. If something theological brings confusion or something more worldly concerns your heart, the Holy Spirit is always there to guide us to a deeper understanding and towards a more loving purpose.