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Doctrines & Morals


May 17, 2018 (Thursday of the 7th week of Easter)

Witness also at Rome


Dear friends in Christ, one of the gifts bestowed upon us by the creator, is the ability to migrate from one place to the other. Purposeful migration is of great importance, even in today’s world. People move across borders and cultures in other to find greener pastures and opportunities to fulfil their dreams. While some do this of their own volition, some are forced to, while others are by their vocations in life ordered to do so by their superior. When the latter is the case, there is a purpose to be fulfilled for the community represented by that authority. Sometimes, the one who is sent may not immediately at the time see the need for the mission and sometimes may never see it, but the overriding need of the community or nation demands that the mission be undertaken.


Our first reading today (Acts 22:30;23:6-11) is the conclusion of another chapter in the mission of Paul. In Acts chapter 20, we saw that after almost four years of mission in Asia, preaching and teaching, Paul felt compelled to return to Jerusalem, not knowing what to expect. However from experience he knew that, ‘imprisonment and persecution’ is the most likely situation. Yet the overriding concern for him has been to carry out the mission entrusted to him by the Lord. When he returned to Jerusalem, Paul was arrested for preaching the gospel by those who were angered by the fact that he reminded them that they stoned Stephen to death. It took the tribunal to rescue him from their plot.


When Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin which was composed of both Pharisees and Sadducees, he exploited the division between the two groups on the belief in resurrection, angels and spirits. The Pharisees believe this, but the Sadducees do not. The issue degenerated into violence and the tribune had to once more ask the soldiers to rescue Paul and keep him in the barracks, from where he will eventually be transferred to Rome. 


Paul did not shy away from the challenges of his mission. We are called to face the troubles of everyday living too. When you face opposition in your office, home, marriage for doing the right thing, keep your hope alive in the Lord. He said to Paul, “Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.” Apply those words to your own situation. You are simply bearing witness to the truth.


Let us pray: Lord as we await the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, fill us with the gifts to truly bear witness to the truth in the world. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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