Fr. Funston’s sermon for the Annual Parish Meeting on January 26, 2014, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, “The Neighbors Can See In!” is now available online:
A few decades ago when I was studying law I was introduced to the term “officious intermeddler.” In law, an officious intermeddler is someone who, on their own and without any authority either by invitation or pre-existing legal duty, interjects himself into the affairs of another, and then seeks some sort of recompense for doing so. That pretty much describes young Saul of Tarsus and at least his initial quest to rid Judaism of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. He was simply a rabbinic student, not any sort of priest or religious official when he began his crusade against Peter and James and the others. I don’t think he was doing it for money, but I do think he might have been looking for a pay-off in the form a religious reputation; if he was successful, he would become a powerful rabbi among the Jewish the people.