It is 21st May 2019. We celebrate the memorial of Saints Christopher Magallanes and companions, martyrs. On 21st May 2000, St. John Paul II canonised all these 21 priests and three lay people who were martyred over 22 years in eight Mexican states for the sake of Catholic faith. The readings are from Acts 14:19-28; and the Gospel from John 14:27-31. How much willing and open are we to move out of our comfortable and secured space for the sake of evangelisation? Our church needs evangelisers with a big heart for Jesus and ready to suffer for the sake of spreading the values of the Kingdom. More luxurious and comfort we seek, less enthusiastic we become by time to work for the Lord. Visiting communities and encouraging fellow believers, we do not need better cars, buildings and electronic gazettes rather simplicity, humility and unwavering trust in the Lord along with our thirst to go beyond our security and willingness to go through any amount of suffering. When God alone becomes our security, sufferings cannot kill our freedom to serve the Lord. God offers peace and protection to those who are willing to share the love of Christ. In the first reading, we reflect the enormous sufferings Sts. Paul and Barnabas went through for the sake of evangelisation. We must never give up when we are corned and pinned down by very many forces. We need to be courageous yet peaceful in all our approach. Our testimony needs to be seen in the form of visiting more people and share the painful experiences with the others to strengthen them to work for the Lord. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” (Rev.2:10). Just like St. Paul, we too persevere even in the face of opposition, jealousy, betrayal and rejection in our ministry and in mission. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Your friends tell the glory of your reign, o Lord.” (Ps.145:11). St. John Paul II in his book, Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way,” (pp.190 – 191) teaches us: “Truly, there can be no turning one’s back upon the truth, ceasing to proclaim it, hiding it, even if it is a hard truth that can only be revealed at the cost of great suffering. ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:31b-32): this is our duty and our source of strength! Here there is no room for compromise nor for an opportunistic recourse to human diplomacy. We have to bear witness to the truth, even at the cost of persecutions, even to the shedding of our blood, like Christ himself…” Peace is the reward and promise by Jesus for all those who are willing to go through certain amount pain, tribulations and humiliation for the sake of the Gospel. As Jesus wishes to return to the Father, We all need to come closer to Jesus and His Word. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (Jn.14:27). May we be open to work for the Lord and to spread the Good News so as to experience the peace of Christ. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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