Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

Note Peter’s bold and emphatic statement before the Council: “Better for us to obey God rather than any human authority!” Obedience to God is the better option not just for Peter but for the whole world. But how tempting it is to serve Caesar and not God! Aligning with Caesar seems to provide immediate gratification for our peripheral needs and a fleeting sense of security whereas serving God seems to reduce us to a minority often afflicted with much suffering. But as Peter and other apostles knew very well, such an experience can be fleeting and deceptive, and the reverse of it is the lasting reality.  Yet it takes much grace from above to swim against the worldly tide and choose to obey God rather than any human authority. Only those who align themselves with the One who comes from above and gives the Spirit without measure can do it consistently.

BUT hold on! Wait a moment!! Don’t we see around us much terror and violence “in the name of God?” Don’t we witness much hatred and bloodshed—all in the name of obeying God? So, perhaps an essential question to reflect along with Peter’s assertion is – what type of God should one obey – a god from below, made in our own image and likeness to whom we project all our hatred, violence, and shame and receive back the same as his commands; or to the One and True God who comes from above, in whom there is no violence and whose name above every name is Mercy?


(Note: This reflection is a revised and updated version of the author’s own reflection for the same readings in the Bible Diary 2013 [Claretian Publications]. All rights reserved. He may be contacted at:


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