If you are following the daily readings from the Acts of the Apostles, you must have noticed that Peter and the other Disciples’ lives completely turned around after numerous encounter with the Risen Christ. They were bold and well- motivated about spreading the good news of the resurrection, not simply the winsomeness but the genuineness of their belief easily spills over into life. In yesterday’s account, they were put to jail and made to suffer but an Angel of the Lord rescued, released and restored them so they can continue preaching the resurrected life. Despite the many chastisements, they remained unabashed and faithful. Totally unaffected, they went back to the area and business as usual. For as long as I can remember, the years of seminary training and the various religious experiences were moments profound conversion which drew me closer to Christ but speaking about conviction, mine was nothing compared to what the Apostles once had. It’s quite sad because a priest of the 21st century should be the latest and upgrade version of the Apostles. He is to be an icon of Christ, a messenger of his word and a servant of Holy Mother Church, in the strictest sense of the word. My rector in college seminary, a highly respected bible scholar, kept on insisting ‘on the redeemed life’, which in my limited understanding was used in purely secular terms. It led me into a depth of confusion. I didn’t know what he meant until I got ordained and started dwelling on the scriptures. Modern priests, in my humble view, should avoid at all costs the popular culture of laxity and lawlessness which liberal society (especially America) dictates because it leads people nowhere but can be a prescription and a road leading to religious and spiritual destruction. Amen.