Saturday of the 7th week of Easter year A

Theme: Loyalty to God

The depth of loyalty and faith of our ancestors in faith should continue to prompt us into always standing for Christ. Ordinarily, one would expect that with all the ordeals St. Paul has gone through in the hands of the leaders and the Jewish people, he would slow down to regain his freedom. But the situation has not slowed Paul down, instead he has continued to use any given opportunity to continue to preach Christ, without minding the troubles it is bringing to him. This is exactly the situation in the 1st reading of today from the Acts of the Apostles, Paul is taken into Rome as a prisoner because he is preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. We were told that he was guided by soldiers, and he stayed in Rome for two years, taking care of himself and preaching the good news to all those who visited him. Obviously, his action points out where his loyalty is and the fact that he is not ready to give up his preaching of the good news of the kingdom of God.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, the loyalty of St. Paul also questions the loyalty of the followers of Christ in our own time. It is a personal issue, and we must answer this question as individuals and not as a group. For you as a person, where is your loyalty, and to what extent are you willing to go for your faith in God? One thing that is very clear for the Apostles since after the resurrection is the fact that they were willing to go all the way without minding the challenges and difficulties on their way. Today’s liturgy is an invitation to all of us who go by the name Christians in our own time, we are all encouraged today to be always loyal to God, irrespective of the challenges and difficulties that we encounter on our way. Let us be resolute and trust in the word of God which says that the grace of God is sufficient for us. He will never fail or disappoint all those who trust in him with all their hearts. He is ever faithful, can be trusted and reliable.

Dear friends in Christ, no one is loyal to Christ and regret it at the end. However, when you opt for Christ, be ready for difficulties and challenges, because of the choice you have made for Christ. Automatically, by that singular choice you have made, you have increased the number of the battles you will have to fight. But be strengthened because the battle is of the Lord and not yours. Just play your part as a follower of Christ and allow God to do his own part and you will never regret opting for Christ. I want you to know that it is not an easy road, but it is a journey that is worth making. Remember the admonition of Jesus that we must strive to go in through the narrow gate, this is exactly what he meant. May almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Saturday of the 7th week of Easter year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp