First Reading: Acts 8:1b-8; Psalm: 66. R. v. 1; Gospel: Jn 6:35-40
GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Persecution may appear as an unpleasant experience but the truth remains that persecution played a very crucial role in the successful spread of the Christian faith from the very beginning. After the Pentecost experience, the warnings of the Jewish religious leaders couldn’t stop the apostles from preaching the risen Christ as the number of believers increased day by day. These enemies of the gospel then resorted to a more severe measure to stop this spread. Saul was deployed to go from house to house and to arrest and imprison any believer of the gospel. Aside the death of Stephen which was recorded in the Bible, Saul also ordered the killings of several other believers.
As a result of this persecution, the Church in Jerusalem was in turmoil and the believers were scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria. And here lies the interesting story on the growth of the Christian faith. Because it was this persecution of the early Christians that led to the spread of the faith from Jerusalem to the different parts of the world. For while the believers were scattered by the throes of persecution; they continued the preaching of the Word wherever they found themselves. This is a clear definition of ‘When ill will pushes us to success and good luck.’
It is still baffling how our God brings out good from evil or painful experiences. From the gruesome death of Jesus, God brought us salvation. From the persecution of believers, the Christian faith expanded. And from the blood of martyrs, the faith of the Church is strengthened. This is why we should trust in God still even in the face of suffering and persecution. To every faithful Christian, difficult times are seeds of potential successes planted in the soil of time. We just need to patiently trust in God. Trust is built from evident experiences. And evidently God has proved himself enough for us to trust in him.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may our trust in you never run out even in the most difficult situations of life. Amen.