In Acts 17, St. Paul confronts the Athenians, particularly the Epicureans, Stoics, and visiting people, who seek novelty, on the Ares Hill about his teaching on Christ. St. Paul starts with this statement in verses 22-23: Ἄνδρες, Ἀθηναῖοι, κατὰ πάντα ὡς δεισιδαιμονεστέρους ὑμᾶς θεωρῶ διερόμενος γάρ καὶ ἀναθεωρῶν τὰ σεβάσματα ὑμῶν εὗρον καὶ βωμὸν ἐν ᾧ ἐπεγέγραπτο Ἀγνώστῳ Θεῷ ὃ οὖν ἀγνοοῦντες εὐεβεῖτε τοῦτο ἐγὼ καταγγέλλω ὑμῖν (Men, Athenians, I behold you in all things more religious than others.
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In 1 Peter 3:15, St. Peter writes to us: Κύριον δὲ τὸν Χριστὸν ἁγιάσατε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν ἕτοιμοι ἀεὶ πρὸς ἀπολογίαν παντὶ τῷ αἰτοῦντι ὑμᾶς λόγον περὶ τῆς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐλπίδος ἀλλὰ μετὰ πραΰητος καὶ φόβου (Now you all set apart Lord Christ in your hearts, prepared on every occasion for a defense to all demanding from you a reason concerning the hope in you, but with mildness and respect)
When a Pharisee asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the law is, Jesus responded with the two greatest commandments: loving God and loving neighbor (see Mt 22:34-40). The two greatest commandments of God center on love (Greek: ἀγάπη). Naturally, readers of this passage might wonder, how do I love God and my neighbor? Loving anything (or anyone) requires two steps: (1) choosing the object of one's love and (2) going out to the object loved and uniting with it.
When Jesus comes before Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of John, Jesus shows us what truth is (a Person), and each person needs to have truth in the heart to hear Jesus's voice and be led to Him, who is Truth. When Pilate first brings Jesus into the praetorium, Pilate asks Jesus whether he is the King of the Jews. Jesus immediately answers him, asking whether Pilate's question came from within himself or he (Pilate) simply wanted to confirm what others were saying about Jesus being or claiming to be the King of the Jews.
St. John of the Cross’s doctrine on union with God demonstrates that when we remove what is contrary to God in ourselves, God will unite to us closer and closer in love. The nature of this union is not one of essence; we do not become God. Rather, we are so close to God in this union that we, by participation, become like God. To understand how we retain our identities as human persons when we unite with God, we need to understand the distinction between essence and existence and its relationship to God’s primary mode of presence in all existents.