Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter

Bible Study: Acts 23:6-11, Psalm 16 and John 17:20-26

“And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.’ ” (Acts 23:10-11)

At the beginning of Christianity, Israel was just a colony of Rome. Paul who once fought Christianity became its great evangelist. Even Paul did not find it easy but God was with him through his trials and tribulations. Once, God miraculously freed Paul and Silas from prison, this time, God spoke to him in captivity: “Take courage, you will bear witness at Rome.”

Paul went to Rome as a prisoner but fast forward two thousand years, Rome has become the headquarters of the Church. What does this teach us?

1. God knows how to write straight on crooked lines. We do not know why God allows certain things to happen, but God has a plan. What looks like your valley of the shadow of death may eventually become your podium; your launchpad for success.

2. Never be afraid of defending your faith. The fact that the world (despite its hatred) has not been able to destroy Christianity is a testimony; a miracle happening before our very eyes; a proof that God is with His Church. No one can battle with the Lord.

3. Always allow God to do your fighting for you. Just as no one can fight God and succeed, you cannot win unless God is on your side. Seek first God’s kingdom and God will do the rest for you. Just as there was commotion between the Pharisees and Sadducees, God can make your enemies fight themselves while you watch.

4. There is power in unity. Jesus prayed in today’s Gospel passage “may they become perfectly one so that the world may know that you have sent me…” (John 17:23) By all means avoid division, fights, blackmail, hatred etc., in the body of Christ. As St. Paul would say, it is better to be wronged and suffer injustice than hold lawsuits against your fellow Christian. (1 Corinthians 6:7)

Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit and enkindle in us your Sacred Fire. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.