Daily Readings Reflection for 5/20/11

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Scripture: Lectionary # 283.  Acts 13:26-33

Friday’s Readings

Paul like Peter preaches about Jesus by visiting the synagogue on a sabbath. Today he is in Antioch of Pisidia where he comments on Psalm two and applies it to Jesus as Messiah. Both apostles preached first to the Jewish people and then when they had little success, they turned to the “Goyiim” or the Gentiles, the Nations. Paul has such great success here that he is always now considered to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.  He became a great salesman for declaring Jesus to be Messiah, Lord, and Savior.

In carefully looking at the structure of the speeches that we find in the Acts we discover that the theme of Jesus as the one who fulfills God’s
promises is essential.  On this occasion of Paul’s preaching, he turned to Psalm 2 which may have been the original beginning of the Psalms as we find indicated in a variant text of the Acts.  Psalm 1 would have been added as a preface or prologue to the book of Psalms which has five parts.

Paul preaches the resurrection through Psalm 2 which originally is dedicated to King David who is the origin of the messianic lineage of the
Kings of Judah.  Paul announces, “What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, …raising up Jesus according to what is written in the
second psalm, ‘You are my Son, this day I have begotten you.” We have already heard psalm two being preached in Acts 4:25-26.  It will
appear another sixteen times in the the gospels and epistles. This is an important messianic reference for our Christian belief that Jesus is the
Messiah and the Son of God. The Psalm is also related to II Samuel 7:14 and Psalm 89:27.

On a personal level, we are moved by the strength of this psalm which shows God as protector of the king and his successors. God laughs at those who think they are able to overcome the anointed king with their plots and attempts against his life. Psalm two is the first time that we hear of a
Messiah in the Psalms. We frequently chant or pray this psalm at Sunday Vespers.  Pondering it over this day helps us to listen more carefully to
Paul’s speech and to realize he was using his own Scriptures to tell us that Jesus is the Messiah. As Jesus fullfilled God’s promises, we are to
fulfill the Lord’s desire to have us fulfill his commandment of love and to understand how to do this by interiorizing and activating the beatitudes
given to us in Jesus’ sermon on the mount.  Amen. Alleluiah.

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