Updated: Apr 15, 2021
14th April, 2021
TRUE WITNESS OF THE GOSPEL
Acts 5: 17-26;
Ps 34: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9;
I am struck by a couple of things in the First Reading. After being arrested and imprisoned, the apostles completely have trust in God. When released by the messenger (angel) of God, they return to the temple precincts, the same place from which they had been arrested. They do not fear being arrested again. Most people, if they are released from jail, do not return to the place in which they were apprehended and perform the same action which led to their arrest. The apostles realize that it is God’s will that they preach the gospel and continue the ministry of Jesus, especially in the House of God, even though that will most likely lead to their continued arrest and persecution. They are happy to be able to face their being apprehended and jailed if it furthers the spread of the Gospel. The second thing that strikes me about the passage is the fact that the apostles do not put up any resistance nor do they cause a scene when they are arrested again. The guards realize that they must proceed carefully or the crowds might attack the guards. The apostles could cause such a disturbance that they would not have been arrested. Yet, they are willing to be arrested without a commotion. The attitude of the apostles reflects the message in the Gospel today: those who do wrong prefer darkness, while those who do right, will act in the light of day. Thus, as the sun rises, the apostles come back into the openness of the temple and preach the message of Jesus. They do not fear the agents of darkness
and deceit, for they know they are in the Light, they are one with the Son sent by the Father God Who so loved the world. They do not fear condemnation by the religious leaders, or by anyone, for they know they have eternal life. As I look at my own life, I realize that I am not as bold in my faith as the apostles were in their faith. I often couch my words so as not to cause others to be alarmed by my beliefs. I am not always willing to walk fully in the Light. I keep my faith close to my chest. I am challenged by the readings today to take a step of faith. I must be willing to risk persecution and mistreatment for my relationship with Jesus. I guess at times I am more like the apostles before the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Yes, I believe and have a relationship with Jesus and His Father, but I would rather; it be a more private relationship without a lot of attention. If it ever came down to my being arrested for my belief, I am not sure that I would be able to handle the test. And if I was released, I am not positive I would be back at the place of my previous apprehension the next morning, continuing the very actions which caused me to be arrested the first time. I guess I have a lot of growing in my faith yet to do. I take heart from knowing that Peter and the other apostles took some time and a further outpouring of the Holy Spirit to give them enough courage to risk it all for the Name of the Lord Jesus. Maybe there is still hope for me. I know I have come a long way, but there is still a lot further I must travel in my journey of faith. With God’s help, I pray that I will be able to stand up for the Lord Jesus when it comes down to the real test.
Let us continue to pray for each other. Let us pray that we will be able to take a stand and boldly proclaim our relationship with God. With God’s help and the support of our fellow believers, we will be faithful disciples of our MasterandTeacher.