Acts 13:13-25 Reflection:
In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we have a long speech given by Paul in the synagogue in the city of Antioch. The speech is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, Paul gives a great overview of the salvation of the people of Israel from the time of the patriarchs right down to Jesus. In one paragraph he mentions all the major players and events.
However, without explicitly saying so, Paul tells us something else about God that we seldom here spoken of, God as a builder of a nation.
In modern times, the whole emphasis has been upon the individual and individual morality. But for many centuries the people understood that they stood before God as a community and that the community itself was built by God.
This is the reason that the Church has always worked upon the parish structure, with each group of parishes under the authority of a bishop. We do not come to God as individuals, we come as a community which is itself based on the family structure.
God builds up the community, his house is the centre of the believing community and the priest is the ‘father’ of the local faith community.
Family is the nature of God, the Trinity is not a reflection of the family; the family is a reflection of the Trinity. The whole secular emphasis on ‘individual’ morality is so destructive because it removes God from the centre of a nation’s life.
Until we can re-establish the central authority of God in the land we are always going to be under the yoke of secularism.