Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Paul's witness to suffering: Daily Mass Homily--May 5th, 2015
(Listen to this homily here).
Paul has another powerful line this morning: “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”
But did you notice what Paul had just experienced? “They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead”! Now I don’t want to paint too grim of a picture, but remember what happened with a stoning. A mob surrounded the guilty and rocks—not little pebbles—were thrown. The purpose was to kill. In fact, they thought Paul was dead!
Paul backed up what he said about suffering with his own witness through brutal persecution.
I can’t help but thinking that similar stuff happens today. Christians are being beheaded in the Middle East—just for being Christian. We are in 2015 and this is happening! We could theoretically be on a plane and be in these areas in fourteen hours. Could we endure the same?
Hopefully none of us will have to shed our blood for our faith, but we can face any tribulation with great hope. Countless men and women throughout all of our history have paid the ultimate price. Certainly we can have the strength to face whatever abuses we face for being Christian today.
When the necessary hardships come our way, be confident and courageous!