Grace to you!
A prominent pop artist, whose name I prefer not to mention, told me of the ordeals he experienced when recording music with the name of Jesus in the lyrics. Some in the entertainment industry warned him that this might cost him his career. He went ahead, produced, and released the song, as he was inspired. The music was a great success.
Some days later, he found he had lost many of those who networked him in the circus of the power brokers in the music industry. In the long run, it meant losing a lot of money and connections.
"Though I have lost many of my friends," he told me, "I have not lost my joy."
I thank God for this young man being himself and standing up to his belief, even when it cost him fortunes. I continue to pray for him and would ask if you could keep him in your prayers too.
His story is similar to many in our world today, where it seems to be a bold Christian is tantamount to ridicule. Hence many prefer to keep their faith private. This sort of reality is a kind of discrimination, which puts down the value of a particular group of people. It is simply not right. Do not allow anyone to make you think less of yourself or the values you cherish. It would be self-defeating for you to self-censure yourself regarding the virtuous values or beliefs dear to your heart.
Are you shy of bearing witness to the Resurrected Lord? Are you afraid of persecution, of losing a friend or connections, of being sidelined, of losing money, or even of suffering emotional pains because of your faith? Courage! Learn from the boldness of Saint Peter and the apostles who replied to those who wanted to silence the gospel: "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
It could be we are shy. Maybe we're unable to bear witness to the faith because we are inadequately informed about it. It could also be because we do not believe or love it enough. Or we have not developed a deeper relationship with Christ as to be confident about it. Thus we are less passionate. If this is the case, there are ways we can do better.
I remember when I was going through the motions, though I was already a baptized believer. I wasn't bold about my faith. By God's grace, all that changed when I encountered the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a deeply personal way. Praying of the Rosary and the faith deepening that occurs through a renewed life of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, and reading of God's Word in Scripture were incredible channels of grace for me. They have continued to nourish my spiritual life.
In particular, daily visits to the Blessed Sacraments played a huge role in my faith-rediscovery. I began to see things differently. It changed everything for me.
Why not try these, and see how your weakness can be transformed for God's glory. The Risen Lord will grant you fresh enthusiasm for his cause.
I pray for you and all of us. May God inspire and enlighten the minds of our hearts to love him and know him more so as to testify that he has risen. He is the Lord. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Second Week of Easter, Thursday: Acts 5:27-33; Jn 3:31-36]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.