2 June – Memorial for Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs
Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304. According to a legendary account of their martyrdom, the two Romans saw their imprisonment as just one more opportunity to evangelise and managed to convert their jailer and his family. The legend also says that they were beheaded in the forest so that other Christians wouldn’t have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. Two women found the bodies, however, and had them properly buried.
“You are very much mistaken.”
The Gospel we read today starts off immediately by telling us that the Sadducees who came to Jesus did not believe in the resurrection. They actually got quite a few of their facts wrong during their little ‘session’ with Jesus.
So, according to the rules of having a formal argument, the Sadducees commit a few fallacies. Errors in their arguments that make them wrong before Jesus even offers an answer.
How did these people get it so wrong? They were supposed to be a party of high priests, aristocratic families, and merchants, the wealthier elements of the population. They tended to have good relations with the Roman rulers of Palestine, and generally represented the conservative view within Judaism. These were respected people.
I remember a time when I tried to get out of a road offence fine and I shamefully presented a half-truth. How many of us have done this? Maybe some of us may be like the Sadducees, respected in society and possibly with some influence. Does this give us a sense that maybe we can get away with one or two things?
After my reversion to the faith, when friends would talk about writing an appeal for a parking fine, I now respond, “But you did do something unlawful? I don’t see why you should bother appealing.” Of course, I sometimes hold my tongue too.
I guess what I’m getting at is something St Thomas Aquinas wrote that I can’t actually find now, but it basically says that for a statement to be true, in the Catholic sense, it needs to be 100% true. Like a 5-year old writing out the alphabet from A to Z, and getting M and N mixed up, it is trivial but if it were something more serious for us adults, God would know. Like maybe a small stain of sin. It would prevent us from going to heaven, we’d have to go to purgatory.
Brothers and sisters, we can never lie to God, as much as we try with our civil authorities here.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Daryl De Payva)
Prayer: Oh God, teach us to be honest! To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, because we are your friends.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your soft promptings that keep us on the narrow path that leads to you.