Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday of Easter Week Two: “They left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5: 41-42)

The Apostles have just been put on trial. They have been threatened and flogged.  Thanks to the intervention of Gamaliel, they have been freed, but with the explicit order to stop speaking about Jesus.  We would expect them to be intimidated or happy because they had escaped a longer imprisonment or even death.  However, their joy is motivated by the fact that ‘they had been found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name”.  Not only this, but ignoring what had been told them, and the possible consequences of their gesture, they are newly and daily involved in the open proclamation of Christ.

The thing, if taken seriously, upsets and leads us to question the text and to question ourselves.  We are believers too, and yet we recognize that only a minority want to be serious believers.  The current mentality is one of paganism, and in certain areas, it is better to minimize our Christian reality, falling into the temptation of discouragement.

We cannot hide behind the fact that things are difficult today.  If the first Christians had reasoned this way, they certainly would have avoided martyrdom, but would we now have the joy and the good fortune to know Christ?  We are living in strong times that cry out the need for credible witnesses.  We cannot leave this task to others.  All baptized persons have the call to witness by vocation.  We should be glad if, because of our witness, we find ourselves in difficulty.  We should, rather, question ourselves on the visibility of our faith, if we only meet with approval.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on my Christian witness to Christ in my daily life.  Is Jesus visible through my words and actions, through my rapport with others? 

..."My God, how far I am from being happy to suffer for You!  I admire it in the saints, but I consider it the exclusive domain of those heroes of the faith.  I find myself humiliated in this regard.  The fact is that my faith is often more rational than an authentic and deep rapport with You, because when one feels loved and loves, there are no calculations.  Teach me the folly of love! "

The Voice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Real love always hurts.  It must be painful to love someone, painful to leave someone.  Only then is love sincere.

- Living Scripture