Monday, May 20, 2019

When you recover from your disgrace, strengthen your brothers and sisters.

"They [Paul and Barnabas] strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14: 22).

Tuesday of the 5th week of Easter. Paul and Barnabas are busy traveling from city to city planting churches. Many of the new Christians were shocked when they meet brutal opposition in their efforts to evangelize. They consider it great anomaly. "This shouldn't happen. After all, we are preaching the Good News and everybody should be happy about it."

Have you ever been opposed or experienced obstacles in spreading the faith or doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy? The gruesome suffering and death of Jesus the Messiah all but wiped out the faith of His disciples. Jesus spent a lot of time after His Resurrection reassuring His disciples and strengthening their faith.

"JESUS said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day." (Acts 24: 44 - 46).

Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith will not fail as a result of the massive assault of Satan on Peter and Satan's temporary victory. Jesus then said to Peter and to us:" "When you recover, strengthen your brothers and sisters."

"Father, You restored Your people to eternal life by raising Christ Your Son from death. Make our faith strong and our hope sure. May we never doubt that you will fulfill the promises You have made. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son." (Collect, Tuesday of the 5th week of Easter).

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