Christ is never tired of assuring us hope.
It is 26 May 2017. We celebrate the memorial of St Philip Neri, Priest. The founded the congregation of the Oratorians. He was known for his compassionate and merciful works. The readings are from Acts 18:9-18; and the Gospel from John 16:20-23. The first reading is assurance given to St. Paul by Christ to continue preaching for Christ even though many were against his preaching. At times, we question ourselves whether to continue doing good or to keep a low profile in doing good due to opposition and the criticisms. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom.8.31). Anyone can put us before the court of law and authorities to humiliate us doing good for Jesus. But be assured like St. Paul, Christ is with us when we do good for Him and the God’s people. God could use those humble and painful moments as the grace of God. Our preaching and sharing the Good News need to demonstrate the power of the Spirit not some human philosophy and sciences. “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” (Acts.18:9). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “God is king of all the earth.” (Ps.46:8). The Gospel infuses tremendous hope in times of sorrow and pain. The joy of the Easter can only be experienced in the assurance of the Risen Lord Jesus. When we are glad to suffer for Christ, joy of Christ fills us deep within. Encountering the Risen Lord in our challenging and crisis-filled situation turns the situations around with joy. Joy of Christ comes only by the personal encounter of the Lord himself and it cannot be taken away by any human situations and experiences. “I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.” (Jn.16:22). May you have a good day.

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