1 May 2019
The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,
so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
They did as they were told
I have observed how young sportsmen and musicians seek to continue to train for their sport even though sometimes it is taking too much effort. They do it because they feel very strongly in their cause. They will not hesitate to spend countless hours and even money to travel down to the place just to ensure that they achieve the desired outcome. The readings of today remind us of the need to stay focused on the task and to never forget the purpose of why we are called to be in the world.
The first reading reminds us of how faithful the two apostles remained despite being imprisoned. They had no regret of what they did previously and they were willing to stay the course despite the possible punishments which they may face. They had a deep encounter with the Lord Jesus and this was what motivated them to continue to stay the course come what may.
Jesus reminds us in the Gospel of the need to stay faithful to the light of the world. This is what he stood for and he paid the ultimate price for us. As we go about our daily lives, we could spend time to reflect upon what God has called us to do. Only by orienting our lives towards God will we be able to remain faithful, even unto death.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for the strength to continue to love you with all our heart.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all the people who show us what it means to love you.