Hardships Will Come.

Homily for Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

It is not always easy being a Christian. It’s not always a walk in the park following Jesus and being His disciple. Scripture reminds us of that so often. We see it this morning in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Paul is literally stoned, almost to death, for proclaiming the Kingdom of God and spreading the faith. And yet, he doesn’t let that deter him from going out and telling others about Jesus.

In fact, I find it really kind of amusing that the people of Antioch dragged Paul outside of the city after they stoned him, then he got his strength back, and then went right back into the city to continue preaching. The man just wouldn’t give up. He was certainly living the message that he was sharing with the converts to the faith in that city.

Persevere. Keep the faith. Hardships will come. Unite them to Christ and keep pushing forward. Keep telling others about Jesus. That was essentially his message.

It’s a message that we hear in the Responsorial Psalm for today as well. That we, as the friends of Jesus, are called to go out and make known to all the world the Good News of salvation offered to us in Christ.

That should bring us to a place of reflection in our own lives. Do we only proclaim Christ, do we only live our Christian faith publicly when it is easy, when it is convenient? Or do we also proclaim Jesus when it isn’t easy?

Right now, our world is a mess. I don’t have to remind us of that, we see it each and every day. And it certainly isn’t easy sharing about Jesus in the culture in which we find ourselves, a culture that is increasingly anti-religion. People of faith are attacked and mocked on a daily basis for what we believe. But we can’t let that deter us from our mission of sharing the Good News. Like Paul, it should have the opposite effect – it should actually embolden us to go out and share that message even more.

Today, let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the grace of courage, to go out and share the Gospel with everyone we meet, to not be afraid of what people might think or what they might do to us. May we be emboldened to go out and tell others what Jesus has done for us and invite them to follow Him.

Image: The Stoning of Saint Paul, Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne. Used under Wikicommons Public Domain.  

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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