Wednesday 4th May 2022. Read Acts 8:1-8, Ps.66:1-7, John 6:35-40
“This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:40)
Our first reading today begins by telling us that great persecution arose against the church following the death of Stephen, but ends with this line: “So there was much joy in that city.” (Acts 8:8). God knows how to write straight on crooked lines.
We can completely trust God because so long as we hold on to him, even our most negative experiences often turn out to be for our own good. Perhaps Philip would not have known he had the gifts of preaching and healing to work great signs if he had not fled Jerusalem at the time of the persecution.
Truly, you never know what God has deposited in you until you face hard times. Like food that has to be cooked before its nutritional value for our health comes out, hardship and crisis help to cook us in the fire so that our true value comes out. As Denzel Washington once said: “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”
God never promised that if we serve him, everything will be smooth in our lives. No! The book of Sirach 2:1 says: “My child when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.” Jesus also makes us understand that following him entails carrying a cross, drinking the bitter wine of persecution:“
You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance, you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:16-19). In Matthew’s version of this passage, Jesus adds: “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.” (Matthew 10:23).
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus continues his conversation with the crowd who had come to seek him because they wanted bread and he is now telling them that he himself is the bread they must eat not only to sustain our life on earth but even to guarantee eternal life for ourselves.
When we juxtapose both our first reading and our Gospel passage today together, this is the picture we get: Trials and hard times would surely come our way as long as we continue to serve God, we may even lose our lives due to such trials but even if we die, Jesus promises to raise us up on the last day.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, save me from all forms of discouragement and despair. Keep my faith alive and strong no matter what life throws at me, may nothing ever spoil my relationship with you. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Wednesday of the 3rd week of Eastertide. Bible Study: Acts 8:1-8, Ps.66:1-7, John 6:35-40)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu