Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Pharisees conspiring against Jesus… Jesus healing those who came to him….
What should forbid us from doing good? Nothing! No power or no force can prevent us from doing what is good. In spite of the threat by the Pharisees, Jesus dared to do His Father’s will. This is what Christian life is all about: giving witness to Jesus in season and out of season. Persecutions were never lacking in the Church. From its very inception till today, the Church is persecuted. In our country today we are persecuted in different ways. The question is whether we are ready to carry on the good that we do in the name of Christ. The book of Revelation reads: ‘To the one who remains till the end, I will give the crown of life.’ But today Jesus also invites us to give attention to another pertinent question: why are we to bear witness to God even during tough times? It is not because of the commitment to an institution but commitment to an experience of the person of Christ. I can’t but bear witness to him because I have experienced him. When the Christians at Mosul were attacked and severe persecution was meted out to them, the patriarch exclaimed: ‘We will not go as refugees to other countries. We will remain here. If we too go, then Christianity will vanish from this country.’ This can come only as a response to an experience. In the Acts of the Apostles we read the disciples being ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus by the priests. But the disciples continued to preach. The early Christian community prayed not for the end of persecution but that they may endure sufferings. The basic attitude is: ‘I can’t but stand for Jesus.’ Do I have such an experience of Jesus?