Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bible Study - 1st Peter 2:1-10

Greetings, fellow lovers of God's Word. Today we will be discussing 1st Peter 2:1-10. Last week, my Bible Study did not meet. And for this week we met on Tuesday this week, so we had a lot of catching up to do. So instead of getting a preview of what we're studying, you get a recap. The remainder of Chapter 1 is covered in my previous post. We kind of drudged through that, and I think the long sentence in Chapter 1 still gave us nightmares. On to Chapter 2!

The first part of Chapter 2 deals with growth as Christians. Peter hops around with his comparisons and compares his readers (and us) to newborns (vv. 1-3), stones (vv. 4-8) and a chosen race of people (vv. 9-10). And he makes it pretty clear that our first step in growth is to rid ourselves of five things: Malice and deceit are the first two.These two are opposed to truth in 1st Peter 1:22. The other three are insincerity, envy, and slander. These three are opposed to love also found in 1st Peter 1:22.

Then, we dive into the baby metaphor. His audience and most all of us are newborn babies, and what do babies need and long for? Milk! So as spiritual newborns, we long for "pure, spiritual milk." Notice that he didn't just say spiritual milk, but added the word pure. This means we long for the faith that is not watered down, but 100% true. And we rely on milk, because we are infants and not ready for spiritual meat. Verse 3 references Proverbs 34:8 and is a common Responsorial Psalm about tasting and seeing the goodness of the Lord.

Now, we change metaphors and are stones, verses 4-8. Jesus is of course THE living stone and the cornerstone that the builders rejected (Psalms 118:22). But we too are called to be living stones so that Jesus can build His Church with us. He doesn't want us to be dead and just showing up to Church, getting our card punched, and leaving, but he wants us to be ALIVE so that others might see that life in us and come to Him to be born anew.

I have always loved the cornerstone that the builders rejected metaphor. Jesus is the cornerstone, or the stone served as a starting place for builders. Those who recognize Jesus as such will not stumble. Those who lack the faith in Jesus, will never understand Him or His teachings.

We can also see that man definitely is not a good judge of people, and God picks and chooses who he wants. St. Peter knows this better than anyone as he had a habit of always putting his foot in his mouth. But Jesus built the Catholic Church on Peter, which proves that God is a better judge of character than man (and has a sense of humor).

Lastly in verses 9 and 10, we as Christians are compared to four things and each one is greater than the last. We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood (Isaiah 61:6), a holy nation (Exodus 19:6), and a people of His own. These four descriptions were reserved for the Israelites, God's chosen people, but their final rejection of Him when He became man caused God to form a New Covenant. Now, the Church is the New Israel.

Gentiles, who converted to Christianity, are no longer orphans but sons and daughters. And everyone celebrates in the priesthood. Yes, we still need sacramental, Holy Order priests to perform the sacraments, but we all share in the priesthood. And we are called to witness for Him. This is reflected more than ever now in the New Evangelization, which Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged us to do.

Until next time, thank you once again for reading my blog. Have a blessed day!