GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 16TH MAY 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 16TH MAY 2016
TUESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
FIRST READING: Acts 14:19-28
PSALM: Psalm 145:10-13,21
GOSPEL: John 14:27-31
THEME: THE TRIALS OF DISCIPLESHIP
Has your faith in the Lord suffered a setback because of a trial that came your way? Do you feel like quitting? Before you throw in the towel and walk away, reflect on the experience of Paul:
In our First Reading, we have an account of the stoning of Paul. He is beaten to the point of death and dragged outside the city by some Jews who had come from Antioch and Iconium. By their action we can infer that they considered Paul a blasphemer. When he gets up after that savage attack, he does not run away. Instead he goes back to the very city where they had sought to lynch him. He encouraged the disciples saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
Later on in life, in one of his letters, Paul would recall some of the unpleasant experiences he had made in his journey of faith – “Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2 Cor. 11:24-27).
A friend once asked me, “How many stones have been thrown at you so far in your walk with the Lord?” That question set me thinking. Suddenly it dawned upon me that following Jesus is not a funfair even if there are moments of fun. The path of discipleship can be rough and rugged. Many have given up on the road and returned to their old way of life. Others create their own paths and pretend to be following Jesus.
In the face of his own impending sorrowful passion that would eventually engulf his disciples, Jesus in our Gospel text turns to them and says, “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).
Do not be afraid. In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in persecution and in honour, for better, for worse, let us stand up for Christ and be on fire for him.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have decided to follow you – No turning back. Even if the cross should weigh me down and I fall on the ground, may I still find some strength to crawl into your Kingdom. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).