Friday of the 2nd week of Easter year A

Theme: Joy in suffering

In the 1st reading of today, Gamaliel a teacher of the Law, caution the council about the maltreating of the Apostles. This simply points out the fact that God can make use of anybody to achieve his plans in any given situation. He warned them to be careful about the way they were attacking the Apostles, lest they fight against God with knowing it. His argument was that, if it is not of God, it will die like others before it. But if it is of God, no matter what they do, they cannot stop his followers. Interestingly the council listened to him, flogged the Apostles, and allowed them to leave. The Apostles on their part were happy and took it as an honour for them to suffer in the name of Christ. Ordinarily they are supposed to be angry with the council because they did not do anything wrong for them to be flogged; but they were rather happy to partake of the suffering of Christ. This goes to show the level of faith of the Apostles, as it concerns their ministry of preaching about the resurrected Christ. Suffice it to say that in their suffering they were happy.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a great challenge for Christians in our own time. Many of us are easily compromised instead of standing against what we know to be wrong and bad. In view of this, some of us will gladly keep quiet instead of saying something about the situation, while others will speak in favour of the crowd or a few people that are the oppressors. The action of the Apostles since after the resurrection should continue to strengthen our resolve to stand for what is good, right and the truth always, even if we must pay a price for our choice, just like the Apostles in todays 1st reading. The good news today my brothers and sisters in Christ, is that there is no good action that we perform in the name of God that will not be rewarded abundantly by God himself. The Apostles of Christ have shown us the way to go, let us emulate them from today henceforth and be upright in our words and actions.

Dearly beloved in Christ, we have all it takes to be true ambassadors for Christ. Worry less about what you stand to lose if you stand for what is good, right and the truth and look at the bigger picture. Each time we become the mouthpiece of the voiceless, we are simply re-enacting Gods love for his people. We are all called to be instruments of Gods love in our world. May the Lord bless his words in our hearts, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Friday of the 2nd week of Easter year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp