The reading I’ve chosen to write about this week is Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41. If you remember last week the Apostles were hiding with the doors locked in the upper room. They were scared to death that the Romans were going to get them and put them to death. Today’s reading from Acts shows a whole new attitude on their part. They have received the Holy Spirit from Jesus himself and they are brave new men. The passage just before the reading we heard today tells us the apostles were in jail for preaching the word and talking about Jesus.
The leaders of the Jewish faith and the Sanhedrin (the ruling body) are questioning them, asking why they are still talking about Jesus when they’ve been told not to. The apostles answer, “We must obey God rather than men.” They accuse the Sanhedrin of killing Jesus. Probably not the smartest thing to do when the authorities have all the power. The apostles don’t care. They are full of fire and love of Jesus. One of the council members advises the rest of the Council to take a wait-and-see attitude before reacting to the apostles’ accusation. The Sanhedrin agrees to have the apostles flogged and sent away. The apostles are thrilled that they have been given the privilege to suffer for the sake of Jesus.
I don’t think any of us will have to suffer a flogging for the sake of our faith, at least I hope not. I think sometimes we might be made fun of or accused of any number of things because we are Catholics. Do not be afraid! Be proud that you are a Catholic. To be a member of the Catholic faith is a great gift! Don’t be afraid to share what God has given you.
Peace and All Good! Deacon Jim