Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Today's Mass Readings


The Lord said to Paul in a vision, at night: Do not be afraid. Go on speaking. Do not be silent. I am with you. (see Acts 18:9)

These are the words every preacher, teacher, catechist, and missionary wants to hear: encouragement and affirmation!

Paul was out on a limb. He had seen a vision, not just this one, but the one that knocked him off course. He was a persecutor of the Way. Now, he is the one being persecuted for following the Way.

He settled for a year and a half, sowing the seed of the Gospel, which doesn’t always grow. Not because of its own fault, but because of the soil on which it falls. You could say that Paul was tilling the soil, stirring things up.

I had a friend who, after college, went to a foreign country to teach English. Well, that was his cover. His real reason was to sow the seeds of the Gospel. The problem was this was not a Christian-friendly country. In five months, he gathered a few friends with whom he began to share the good news of Jesus Christ. But one day, he began to receive threatening messages, telling him to leave or else. At first, he was not afraid, but, as it grew worse, he discerned his options and came home.

He was thankful for the experience, considering it an honor to suffer for the sake of the Name. When he told us the stories, all the scriptures about being persecuted came alive: “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 10:22) How hard it is to enter the kingdom of heaven!

For Today:
Have you had an experience of being “persecuted”? Were you standing up for what was right? Or was it actually because you were a Christian? How do you feel about it now? “Rejoice and be glad,” Jesus says, “for your reward will be great in heaven.” (see Mt 5:12)

Reflection by Br. Luke Kral, OSB

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