They do not really know what is going on and they do not seem to be in a hurry to learn. They just want to get through the day and to enjoy their lives. They do not seek to know what is truly right or wrong: only what works for them.
The people’s leaders are ignorant.
They are not deep thinkers, except when it comes to strategizing to increase and maintain the power of their “side”. They do not seek to know what is truly right or wrong: only what works for them.
And so it is that Saint Peter in today’s first reading (Acts 3:11-26), the Blood of Jesus probably still visible on the rock of Golgotha, says to the people of Jerusalem:
You acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did.
Saint Peter’s point in saying this, of course, is to bring the people out of their ignorance: to help them recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and for them to accept him and the truth he brings.
Saint Peter’s successors have continued this effort through the millennia: to break through the self-centered complacency and ignorance of people and their leaders and to proclaim loudly the truth that comes from Christ.
Few of Saint Peter’s successors have been more skilled in this task than Pope Benedict XVI: a truly deep thinker who seeks only to illumine what is truly right and wrong as well as to increase the knowledge of God in all people.
The people of the United States will have a special opportunity to benefit from this ministry of the Successor of Peter when the Holy Father comes to Washington and New York in just a few weeks. All of us should pray for his safety during this trip and also that people will be really open to learning from him: listening fully and reading fully what he says, not just latching onto the sound bites and negative spin that may come through the usual media outlets.
You and I, of course, are by no means free of ignorance ourselves. Too many of us are coasting through life with just what we learned years ago and perhaps also with snippets of things we have read or heard from time to time.
All of us must rise above our complacency and the pressures of day-to-day life and open ourselves ever more to seeking and receiving more fully of the truth that comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.