“For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’” Acts 17: 28
Today we read Saint Paul’s speech to the Athenians in the Areopagus. The Areopagus was the meeting place of the members of the Council of Athens. So we can assume that when Saint Paul spoke some or most of the leaders of Athens were present as well as other citizens. The name means, rocky hill, and there are steps up to the top of the large rock. A person could then speak to the crowd below that would have gathered. In his speech, Saint Paul is appealing to the philosophy background of the Athenians, who are Stoics and Epicureans. He appeals to their understanding of creation and takes them a step further is saying that there is one God who is the creator and sustainer of the universe or cosmos. He uses a quote from a 6th-century author, Epimenides of Knossos to support his point, “For ‘In him, we live and move and have our being.’” Some listen to what he has to say, and some chose not to believe when Saint Paul speaks of the resurrection from the dead. If Saint Paul were to give the same speech today from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, there would possibly be the same response. Some would believe, and others would be skeptical.
We have so many gods in our society. Those things that lead us away from God. Things that do not assist us in becoming the person that God created us to be. We can clutter our lives with so many things or activities we think we need to do. Keeping focused on what is true and right is a very difficult task in our modern society. The scriptures today help to keep our focus on God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Opening our minds and hearts to the Holy Spirit will give us the ability to know what is true and right and will give us the graces to follow that truth. The catch is being open. God leads us in the direction we need to go. We, for our part, place our trust in that direction as we listen through prayer, reflection, and others.
How is God living, moving, and being in your life?
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky