by Erik Ritland
The Word and the Church
Bible commentary following the Catholic Lectionary (which gives an overview of the entire Bible) by the Fully Alive staff
Wednesday of the Eight Week in Ordinary Time
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I Pet. 1: 18-25
Mk. 10: 32-45
Although the arguments aren’t nearly as air tight as they’d like to admit, many scholars feel like the letters of St. Peter were not writing by him, but one of his disciples piously using his name. If true this is not a problem for Christians. The Bible is God’s message because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, not because of the people who specifically wrote each book.
Yet the two books of St. Peter are so full of vivid, profound truths that it’s hard for me to believe that it wasn’t written by someone as close to the heart of the Lord as the apostle. For example, from today’s reading we find these inspiring words:
Since you have purified yourselves
by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love,
love one another intensely from a pure heart.
You have been born anew,
not from perishable but from imperishable seed,
through the living and abiding word of God
I Pet. 1:22-3
These words, like many in the epistles of Peter, have a rough edged common sense that feel like they come from a simple fisherman, albeit one filled with God. We are purified in Christ, and from that purification we know how to love “intensely from a pure heart.” We are “born anew…through the living and abiding word of God.” Similarly, St. Paul says that in Christ we are a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). We are privileged with the gift of intimacy with God, and from that intimacy we are completely new people in him.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician. He is the lead staff writer and podcast host of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, which features commentary on music, sports, and an intellectual ragbag. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blogs Curious North and Hometown Hustle. Reach him via email.
Erik Ritland received his MA in Theology in 2017. He's the founder and content manager of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, copy editor and writer for Music in Minnesota, and an acclaimed songwriter.