But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned; for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction. And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’ (Gal 2:11-14)
This text deals with a fundamental question that echoes through the centuries: how are we to live our faith? We shortly will celebrate the feast of Sts Peter and Paul. Both of these apostles had a conversion experience; both were well aware of their failings. It is interesting that the Church, in her wisdom, celebrates these apostles with divergent characters and styles on the one day. That Paul was prepared to criticise Peter is an example to all who would stand against authority.
Young people want to live authentically, live as people of integrity. Following rules unquestioningly has its limits. We must be open to the questions and challenges of young people. After all, God gave us a brain to use. Such questioning helps young people to grow in their own sense of faith. It is also good to show young people that questioning is part of Scripture and part of the faith journey.
Have a great week…and break!