The first reading shows the Jewish believers, who at first were delighted with Paul’s stories about Jesus, being filled with jealousy when Paul’s message was accepted by Gentiles. That jealousy led them to use violence against Paul and Barnabas, driving them from the city.
We know that to be sincere in or worship of the Father in heaven, we must show love toward all of his human, but how often we fail in this?
There is a logical basis for religious and racial prejudice. It is rooted in ages when men hunted other men the way some men hunt animals. In Genesis 4:14 when his crime became known, God punished Cain by making him a wanderer. Cain objected, “If I must become a wanderer on the face of the earth, anyone may kill me at sight.”
In Europe’s Black Plague between 1446 and 1449 Paris lost half its number, England’s population dropped from five to two million. The Jews lost a hundred villages, but the plague was responsible for only half of the losses. The others were destroyed by Christians blaming the Jews for the plague.
Mankind has progressed a little since then. We can travel abroad with the proper visas, but every day we run up against inhuman prejudices. Today’s paper has a case of a girl in northern Sudan sentenced to death for apostasy by refusing to return to Islam from Christianity. A right wing anti-Jewish party is gaining strength in Germany. The Israel-Palestinian peace talks have come to an end with Jewish construction on land they had previously agreed to be Palestinian.
We have our own struggles at overcoming prejudice. I remember times when I offered friends a ride in my car rather than have them ride a bus with black people. Now I have no car, and many black people on buses are good friends. Even so, I still find remnants of prejudice with deep roots inside of me.We never see prejudice for what it is. As a teenager I had thought it right that blacks should not be allowed in our theaters. I believed in segregated schools. St. John wrote that anyone who hates a brother man whom he can see cannot really love God, whom he cannot see. So?