“Man considers the actions, but God instead examines the intentions.” (IC 2,6,3) | “Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did” (Acts 3:17)

Kempis, in speaking about conscience, writes the words above (2,6).  Unimportant is what other persons think of us; important is that we act according to a well-formed conscience which is a gift from God.

Today’s first reading records Peter’s second speech to the Jews (the first coming on Pentecost) (Acts 3:11-26).  Peter has just healed a lame man amazing the people and causing them to surround him and John, who was with him.  Peter goes on to accuse them of putting Jesus to death, but then utters the words at top, before urging them to repent and convert, for the forgiveness of sins.

Among the Jews being addressed here, certainly there were ignorance and a conscience poorly formed and then manipulated by certain of their religious leaders that led them to call for Jesus crucifixion on that fateful Friday morning.  Their actions were deplorable, but even Christ recognized their blindness from the cross:

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34)

While we know Jesus is speaking to all of us since every sinner put our Savior on the cross, the elapsing of two thousand years should lead us to know better.  We have no reason to claim ignorance in our intentions.  There are many opportunities to alleviate ignorance as Catholics are blessed with Scripture (the Word of God put to writing), Tradition (all of Divine Revelation), and the Magisterium (the safeguard of authentic belief).  Knowledge gained from these sources alleviates ignorance and helps us to form our conscience well.  Whether or not the actions that flow from the demands of such a conscience are approved by our neighbor, we know that they are pleasing to God.

Peter and John Continue Preaching the Gospel -

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