Every authentic believer can gain courage while being challenged by today’s readings. We see the worshipping “women of prominence” and the “leading men of the city” driving the persecution against Paul and Barnabas. The spreading of false news, the deliberate words and actions meant to defame and create distance from the Apostles, resulted in their expulsion. Yet it was they who were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:44-52).
The elite also fanned the flames of persecution against Jesus our Lord. The demonic work of forming ‘crusades’ against Him and turning the people away from Jesus led to His death. But it is the Lord, not the persecutors, who was raised and became the source of eternal life for all. In all His trials, Jesus revealed His Father’s love because of their bond (Jn. 14:7-14). In all our adversities, remain close to the Lord, and real joy, peace and life will be ours.
Lord Jesus, Your love for Your Father enabled You to be triumphant over Your trials. May we remain steadfast in You, so that Your grace and love will lead us to eternal victory. Amen.