The community of mankind would not be in a perfect state unless there were some people who direct their intention to generative acts and others who refrain from these acts and devote themselves to contemplation.
In the autumn of A.D. 60, Portius Festus arrived from Italy to begin his assignment as Roman governor of Judea. He inherited a number of problems. One of them was that St. Paul was languishing in his jail.
King Herod Agrippa II came to the seaport city of Caesarea to greet the new governor. The king’s great-grandfather had built the city to curry favor with the waxing Roman empire.
Festus knew little of Judaism and nothing of Christianity. Nonetheless, in his conversation with Herod Agrippa, the new Roman governor unwittingly distilled the life of St. Paul into one single, perfect sentence.
Perhaps you noticed last week that in our second readings at Holy Mass we have begun to read from St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. We will continue reading from these letters until Ash Wednesday.