Today we celebrate the ultimate victory of the Apostles for their efforts to keep the faith despite their struggles. Herod arrested Peter intending to bring him to trial so as to publicly make fun of him but that very night he was set free by the Angel of God. Even if he would eventually die for the sake of the Gospel, this very incident is proof that when we suffer for the sake of righteousness, we are never alone.

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Barnabas worked with Paul in the city of Antioch and through them, humans were first called Christians. In a world of individualism where even ministers find it difficult to work together and each person seeks glory for himself even at the expense of the other, the life of Barnabas becomes encouragement in the right direction.

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Wherever it occurs, disunity prevents people from facing a common enemy. Think about this, if only the Pharisees were united in thought and doctrine with the Sadducees, perhaps they would have been able to put an end to the missionary enterprise of Paul but they couldn’t stop him. In our Gospel passage, Jesus is praying for unity among his followers. Even in the prayer, Jesus highlights the scandal of disunity when he says “. . . MAY THEY ALL BE ONE . . . SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE SENT ME.”

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Right there in prison, rather than fall into despair, they burst into singing. They prayed, they sang and the Holy Spirit came down. God who did not prevent them from being beaten and thrown in prison became moved when he heard them pray and sing. He not only freed them from prison, but he also brought about the conversion of the chief jailer.

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How can we possibly accept the many tribulations that are part of the road to heaven? The only solution is for us to have this inner peace. Peace of mind is such a vital ingredient for us to move successfully on this road to heaven. When we have this peace, nothing is difficult for us.

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The same Paul and Barnabas who fled from Iconium went to Lystra to preach the Gospel. There was a cripple there who could not use his feet from birth. Seeing that this man had faith, Paul said to him: “Stand upright on your feet.” The cripple sprang up and walked. Truly speaking, as Jesus taught us, “if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20)

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In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says to us twice: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it… if you ask anything in my name, I will do it…” In saying “I will do it,” Jesus is telling us that He is both God and mediator at the same time.

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Monday 11th May 2020. Read Acts 14:5-18, Psalm 115 and John 14:21-26 “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” John 14:21.

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(Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter. 9th May, 2020) “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

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