for better and for worse
"Day after day, both in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus the Messiah." —Acts 5:42
When Peter and John proclaimed Jesus' resurrection after healing the man born lame, the Sadducees' reaction was anger (Acts 4:2). As the apostles proclaimed the risen Christ through signs and wonders, the high priest and the Sadducees reacted with jealousy (Acts 5:17). They expressed this by having the apostles whipped (Acts 5:40). When Stephen proclaimed the risen Christ, the onlookers responded with violence. They ground their teeth, put their hands over their ears, attacked Stephen, and beat him with stones until they murdered him (Acts 7:54-58).
The more Jesus' disciples proclaimed His resurrection, the more their persecution intensified. The more intense the persecution, the more the disciples continued to proclaim the resurrection. They considered it a privilege to be judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of Jesus' name (Acts 5:41). "Both in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus" (Acts 5:42).
Are you witnessing for the risen Jesus? Are some people responding with faith and love? Are others filled with anger, jealousy, or violence toward you? How are you taking this? Are you rejoicing in suffering rejection and hostility for love of Jesus? Are you intensifying your proclamation of the risen Christ?
Prayer: Father, may I react to rejection by forgiving and by witnessing for Your Son with increased zeal.
Promise: "A vast crowd kept following Him because they saw the signs He was performing for the sick." —Jn 6:2
Praise: St. Isidore taught, "When God's grace touches our inmost minds to bring understanding, His word which has been received by the ears sinks into the heart."
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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