Grace to you!
Yesterday, I hinted that the resurrection brought about renewed hope, favor and fervor for the apostles and disciples of Jesus. Same for us too, since the graces of then aren’t ended with the early Church despite their unique place in the history of our salvation.
Divine favors are tied to the life of the resurrection. It’s a blessing for us to hold on to this belief. Nevertheless, being witnesses of the resurrection isn’t always a bed of roses. It’s a blessing with two sides—the rose and the temporal thorn.
Recall that right after the joys of the resurrection, Acts of the Apostles constantly showed the contrast of ridicule and the persecutions which followed. It’s as if every victorious chant was short-lived by boos. On and on, the circle continues. Though, in the end, glorious chants carry the day.
If anyone wants a faith-journey that does not come with persecutions, then Christianity isn’t it. Right from the time of the Apostles until now, persecutions have been part and parcel of our Christian witness.
Acts of the Apostles 5:12-26, for instance, records the second prominent persecution against the apostles ordered by the High Priest. The apostles were put in public jails.
I recognize many people detest persecutions. I do too. It’s understandable and human. But, if we would hold to the truth of the resurrection, we should be disposed to be ridiculed, and sometimes be rejected.
We have to be prepared for the worst, though we should not allow the worst things that happen to define us. Our courage as believers should be proactive so we are not caught off guard when persecutions occur. Ultimately, we should be vigilant, as the bible suggests.
Get this straight: Christ has not promised us a faith-life with only nice things. Certainly not frosting on the cake. Instead, he has given us a living hope, a living joy, a living boldness won on a crimsoned cross. This means we win by fighting all the way through.
Glory lies in believing and witnessing to the Risen Christ against all odds. It isn’t simply by believing the obviously comfortable. It’s by swimming against the current.
G. K. Chesterton was spot-on when he argued that, “only life fish can swim against the current.” Against the current is the luster of life’s crown.
May the grace of resurrection bring us joy, peace and blessings amidst the trials of life. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Second Week of Easter, Wednesday: Acts 5:17-26; Jn 3:16-21]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.